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Recently, 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,” says 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.

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.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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