HUD AWARDS NEARLY $650,000 TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO HUD PROGRAMS BY FAMILIES WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $649,000 to seven local community organizations. These awards support local organizations serving diverse communities across the country that will help ensure persons who are limited English proficient (LEP) have access to information in their native languages on HUD housing, programs, services, and activities.
“Partnering with organizations that work directly with limited English proficient persons helps HUD provide more effective and efficient services to people who are limited English proficient,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “How well people speak English must not determine their access to safe, affordable, and decent housing free from discrimination. Through these partnerships, HUD will ensure that the LEP individuals and families have meaningful access to information on fair housing, homeownership, lead abatement, housing assistance, and countless other services.”
In coordination with local HUD grantees, the recipients will use the funds to, for example: create fair housing presentations and trainings on HUD programs in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Amharic, and Korean in Washington, DC; conduct community meetings and refugee orientation sessions for Bosnians and Arabic speakers to learn more about affordable housing in St. Louis; produce brochures in English, Nepalese, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese for people seeking rental housing and homeownership information in Queens, New York; and develop posters, brochures, and training tools about HUD’s Fair Housing and Home Ownership programs in Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi-Turkish, Somali, Burmese, and Bhutanese in San Diego.
HUD’s grant funding will support the following cities and organizations: (see project-by-project summaries below.)
Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Inc.
District of Columbia
Equal Rights Center
The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership
International Institute of St. Louis
Chhaya Community Development Corporation
Lutheran Children and Family Services
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a Limited English Proficiency website to promote equal access to housing programs by providing important HUD documents in 12 different languages. HUD's expanded Limited English Proficiency (LEP) website features factsheets, housing brochures and other forms in Amharic,Arabic,Armenian, Cambodian,Chinese, Farsi,French,Korean,Portuguese,Spanish,Tagalog, and Vietnamese in addition to English. The site offers brochures on fair housing, model lease agreements, information about HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), and Resident Rights and Responsibilities.
The LEP initiative is in response to Executive Order 13166, which requires all federal, local and state agencies that receive federal funding to ensure that people with limited language skills have meaningful access to government programs and services.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.
FY 2010-11 Limited English Proficiency Initiative Program Grant Summaries
Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Inc. - $100,000
Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Inc. (KHRW) is a resettlement program for newly arrived immigrants with extensive experience providing HUD services to limited English proficient individuals/immigrants in San Diego, Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Nashville, TN; Portland, OR; Hyattsville, MD; Fairfax, VA; and Seattle, WA. KHRW will provide the proposed Limited English Proficiency (LEP) project in six languages including Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi-Turkish, Somali, Burmese, and Bhutanese. Some of the proposed activities include designing and developing posters, brochures, and training tools about HUD’s Fair Housing and Home Ownership programs; and publicizing assistance to the target LEP communities by placing advertisements in LEP oriented newspapers.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Equal Rights Center - $100,000
The Equal Rights Center (ERC) plans to help provide access to HUD services for limited English proficient individuals who speak Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Amharic, and Korean throughout the Washington, D.C. region. The ERC plans to provide particular emphasis on disseminating information on fair housing rights and the HUD services available to protect those rights. Some of ERC’s proposed programs and services include developing seven fair housing presentations and trainings on HUD programs, services, and activities that are to be held in conjunction with the D.C. Office of Human Rights; and translating, printing, and distributing more than 10,000 bilingual fair housing brochures promoting fair housing rights and resources.
The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii - $50,000
The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii plans to provide services in a wide variety of areas including fair housing, housing counseling, and homeless outreach services to the people of Hawaii, including limited English proficient (LEP) communities. Legal Aid Society’s proposed services to LEP communities include implementing “train the trainer” methodology by training community coordinators and leaders on language access information and HUD services; conducting 40 monthly trainings and 20 clinics designed to assist in the completion of HUD applications for housing and other HUD-related services; and developing, refining, translating, and distributing 4,000 outreach brochures.
The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) is an organization dedicated to meeting the economic, social, and housing needs for the growing numbers of immigrants in Southwest Minnesota. SWMHP has demonstrated extensive experience working with limited English proficient community in their native languages of Somali, Sudanese, Hmong, Burmese, Karen (Burma), Eritrean (Ethiopian), Lao, Vietnamese, and Spanish. SWMHP plans to use Limited English Proficiency Initiative funding to facilitate education about local/regional HUD programs through the development of brochures on HUD programs and eligibility requirements; developing and disseminating marketing materials and applications in languages that meet the needs of the targeted LEP communities; and compiling and distributing Q&As regarding how to access various HUD programs and services in the target areas.
The International Institute of St. Louis - $99,998
The International Institute of St. Louis’s (IISTL) proposed Limited English Proficiency project will serve the St. Louis City and the St. Louis County areas with services for eight different limited English proficient (LEP) language groups. IISTL will partner with the Urban League and other HUD grantees to provide targeted services that include providing educational services targeting IISTL sponsored refugees who speak Nepali and Arabic; conducting special community meetings and refugee orientation sessions for Bosnians and Arabic speakers to learn more about affordable housing; conducting outreach at ethnic-specific and multicultural organizations in the St. Louis area where immigrants typically congregate through ethnic and language-specific media; and disseminating translated informational materials to targeted IISTL clients.
Chhaya Community Development Corporation - $100,000
The Chhaya Community Development Corporation brings over 60 years of experience in serving limited English proficient residents of Queens, NY. Chhaya will partner with Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica (NHSJ) and MinKwon Center for Community Action to provide services in eight different languages, including English, Nepalese, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. Chhaya’s proposed services include developing and providing two brochures in target languages for individuals seeking rental housing; providing information and resources for immigrants who desire to become homeowners; delivering tenant and homeowner information through a total of 15 workshops and training sessions in target languages; and reaching an estimated 675 individuals over the 12-month grant period.
The Lutheran Children and Family Services - $99,101
The Lutheran Children and Family Services is a refugee resettlement organization that currently serves limited English proficient communities throughout Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania. They provide assistance in six different languages including Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Karen (Burma), and Nepali. Some of the proposed activities and services include conducting trainings and disseminating HUD materials to seven county areas in ethnic communities and refugee service providers through the Bureau of Employment and Training Programs in Pennsylvania; and providing training to HUD grantees, county, and municipality administrative offices.