FR Doc 03-31267

  [Federal Register: December 19, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 244)] [Notices]                [Page 70967-70980] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr19de03-147]                            [[Page 70967]]  -----------------------------------------------------------------------  Part V      Department of Housing and Urban Development      -----------------------------------------------------------------------    Notice of Guidance to Federal Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI  Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited  English Proficient Persons; Notice   [[Page 70968]]   -----------------------------------------------------------------------  DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT  [Docket No. FR-4878-N-01]    Notice of Guidance to Federal Assistance Recipients Regarding  Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting  Limited English Proficient Persons  AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal  Opportunity, HUD.  ACTION: Notice.  -----------------------------------------------------------------------  SUMMARY: HUD is publishing proposed ``Guidance to Federal Financial  Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National  Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons''  (Guidance) as required by Executive Order 13166, which addresses  assistance to recipients of federal financial assistance who have  limited English proficiency.  DATES: Comment Due Date: January 20, 2004.  ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding  this notice to the Regulations Division, Office of the General Counsel,  Department of Housing and Urban Development, Room 10276, 451 Seventh  Street, SW., Washington, DC 20410-0500. Communications should refer to  the above docket number and title. Facsimile (FAX) comments are not  acceptable. A copy of each communication submitted will be available  for public inspection and copying between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at  the above address.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pamela D. Walsh, Director, Program  Standards Division, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity,  Department of Housing and Urban Development, Room 5226, 451 Seventh  Street SW., Washington, DC 20410-2000, telephone (202) 708-2904 (this  is not a toll-free number). Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may  access the telephone number listed in this section through TTY by  calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877- 8339.  SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of  1964 (Title VI) and implementing regulations, recipients of federal  financial assistance have a responsibility to ensure meaningful access  to their programs and activities by persons with limited English  proficiency (LEP). Executive Order 13166, reprinted at 65 FR 50121  (August 16, 2000), directs each federal agency that extends assistance  subject to the requirements of Title VI to publish guidance for its  respective recipients clarifying that obligation. Because this guidance  (42 U.S.C. 2000d) (Title VI) must adhere to the federal-wide compliance  standards and framework detailed in the model LEP Guidance of the  Department of Justice (DOJ) issued on June 18, 2002, HUD specifically  solicits comments on the nature, scope, and appropriateness of the HUD- specific examples set out in this guidance explaining and/or  highlighting how those consistent federal-wide compliance standards are  applicable to recipients of federal financial assistance through HUD.  I. Introduction      Most individuals living in the United States read, write, speak,  and understand English. There are many individuals, however, for whom  English is not their primary language. For instance, based on the 2000  census, over 26 million individuals speak Spanish and almost seven  million individuals speak an Asian or Pacific Island language at home.  If these individuals have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or  understand English, they are limited English proficient, or ``LEP.''  While detailed data from the 2000 census has not yet been released, 26  percent of all Spanish speakers, 29.9 percent of all Chinese speakers,  and 28.2 percent of all Vietnamese speakers reported that they spoke  English ``not well'' or ``not at all'' in response to the 1990 census.     Language for LEP persons can be a barrier to accessing important  benefits or services, understanding and exercising important rights,  complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding other  information provided by federally-funded programs and activities. The  federal government funds an array of programs, services, and activities  that can be made accessible to otherwise eligible LEP persons. The  federal government is committed to improving the accessibility of these  programs and activities to eligible LEP persons, a goal that reinforces  its equally important commitment to promoting programs and activities  designed to help individuals learn English. Recipients should not  overlook the long-term positive impacts of incorporating or offering  English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in parallel with language  assistance services. ESL courses can serve as an important adjunct to a  proper LEP plan. However, the fact that ESL classes are made available  does not obviate the statutory and regulatory requirement to provide  meaningful access for those who are not yet English proficient.  Recipients of federal financial assistance have an obligation to reduce  language barriers that can preclude meaningful access by LEP persons to  important government programs, services, and activities. HUD recognizes  that many recipients had language assistance programs in place prior to  the issuance of Executive Order 13166. This Guidance provides a uniform  framework for a recipient to integrate, formalize, and assess the  continued vitality of these existing and possibly additional reasonable  efforts based on the nature of its program or activity, the current  needs of the LEP populations it encounters, and its prior experience in  providing language services in the community it serves.     In certain circumstances, failure to ensure that LEP persons can  effectively participate in or benefit from federally-assisted programs  and activities may violate the prohibition under Title VI and Title VI  regulations against national origin discrimination. The purpose of this  policy guidance is to assist recipients in fulfilling their  responsibilities to provide meaningful access to LEP persons under  existing law. This guidance clarifies existing legal requirements for  LEP persons by providing a description of the factors recipients should  consider in fulfilling their responsibilities to LEP persons. The  policy guidance is not a regulation but rather a guide. Title VI and  its implementing regulations require that recipients take responsible  steps to ensure meaningful access by LEP persons. This guidance  provides an analytical framework that recipients may use to determine  how best to comply with statutory and regulatory obligations to provide  meaningful access to the benefits, services, information, and other  important portions of their programs and activities for LEP  individuals. These are the same criteria HUD will use in evaluating  whether recipients are in compliance with Title VI and Title VI  regulations.     As with most government initiatives, guidance on LEP requires  balancing several principles. While this Guidance discusses that  balance in some detail, it is important to note the basic principles  behind that balance. First, HUD must ensure that federally-assisted  programs aimed at the American public do not leave some behind simply  because they face challenges communicating in English. This is of  particular importance because, in many cases, LEP individuals form a  substantial portion of those encountered in federally-assisted  programs. Second, HUD must achieve this goal while finding constructive  methods to reduce the costs of LEP  [[Page 70969]]  requirements on small businesses, small local governments, or small  nonprofits that receive federal financial assistance.     There are many productive steps that the federal government, either  collectively or as individual grant agencies, can take to help  recipients reduce the costs of language services without sacrificing  meaningful access for LEP persons. Without these steps, certain smaller  grantees may well choose not to participate in federally-assisted  programs, threatening the critical functions that the programs strive  to provide. To that end, HUD plans to continue to provide assistance  and guidance in this important area. In addition, HUD plans to work  with representatives of state and local governments, public housing  agencies, assisted housing providers, fair housing assistance programs,  and other HUD recipients, and LEP persons to identify and share model  plans, examples of best practices, and cost-saving approaches.  Moreover, HUD intends to explore how language assistance measures,  resources, and cost-containment approaches developed with respect to  its own federally-conducted programs and activities can be effectively  shared or otherwise made available to recipients, particularly small  businesses, small local governments, and small nonprofits. An  interagency working group on LEP has developed a Web site, http://www.lep.gov , to assist in disseminating this information to recipients,   federal agencies, and the communities being served.     Many persons who commented on the DOJ's proposed LEP guidance which  was published January 16, 2001 (66 FR 3834), later published for  additional public comment on January 18, 2002 (67 FR 2671), and  published in final form on June 18, 2002 (67 FR 41455), have noted that  some in the public have interpreted the case of Alexander v. Sandoval,  532 U.S. 275 (2001), as implicitly striking down the regulations  promulgated under Title VI that form the basis for the part of  Executive Order 13166 that applies to federally-assisted programs and  activities. DOJ and HUD have taken the position that this is not the  case, for the reasons explained below. Accordingly, HUD will strive to  ensure that federally-assisted programs and activities work in a way  that is effective for all eligible beneficiaries, including those with  LEP.  II. Legal Authority      Section 601 of Title VI provides that no person shall ``on the  ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from  participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to  discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal  financial assistance.'' Section 602 authorizes and directs federal  agencies that are empowered to extend federal financial assistance to  any program or activity ``to effectuate the provisions of [section 601]  * * * by issuing rules, regulations, or orders of general  applicability'' (42 U.S.C. 2000d-1).     HUD regulations promulgated pursuant to section 602 forbid  recipients from ``utiliz[ing] criteria or methods of administration  which have the effect of subjecting individuals to discrimination  because of their race, color, or national origin, or have the effect of  defeating or substantially impairing accomplishment of the objectives  of the program as respects individuals of a particular race, color, or  national origin'' (24 CFR 1.4).     The U.S. Supreme Court, in Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974),  interpreted regulations promulgated by the former Department of Health,  Education, and Welfare, including a regulation similar to that of HUD,  24 CFR 1.4, to hold that Title VI prohibits conduct that has a  disproportionate effect on LEP persons because such conduct constitutes  national-origin discrimination. In Lau, a San Francisco school district  that had a significant number of non-English speaking students of  Chinese origin was required to take reasonable steps to provide them  with a meaningful opportunity to participate in federally-funded  educational programs.     On August 11, 2000, Executive Order 13166, ``Improving Access to  Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,'' was issued and  published on August 16, 2000, at 65 FR 50121. Under that order, every  federal agency that provides financial assistance to non-federal  entities must publish guidance on how their recipients can provide  meaningful access to LEP persons and thus comply with Title VI  regulations forbidding funding recipients from ``restrict[ing] an  individual in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege  enjoyed by others receiving any service, financial aid, or other  benefit under the program'' or from ``utiliz[ing] criteria or methods  of administration which have the effect of subjecting individuals to  discrimination because of their race, color, or national origin, or  have the effect of defeating or substantially impairing accomplishment  of the objectives of the program as respects individuals of a  particular race, color, or national origin.''     On that same day, DOJ issued a general guidance document addressed  to ``Executive Agency Civil Rights Officers'' setting forth general  principles for agencies to apply in developing guidance documents for  recipients pursuant to the Order. The DOJ document is titled,  ``Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 National  Origin Discrimination Against Persons With Limited English  Proficiency,'' (DOJ LEP Guidance) published on August 16, 2000, at 65  FR 50123.     Subsequently, federal agencies raised questions regarding the  requirements of the Order, especially in light of the U.S. Supreme  Court's decision in Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275 (2001). On  October 26, 2001, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights  Division, issued a memorandum for ``Heads of Departments and Agencies,  General Counsels and Civil Rights Directors,'' that clarified and  reaffirmed the DOJ LEP Guidance in light of Sandoval. This Guidance  noted that some have interpreted Sandoval as implicitly striking down  the disparate-impact regulations promulgated under Title VI that form  the basis for the part of Executive Order 13166 that applies to  federally-assisted programs and activities. See, e.g., Sandoval, 532  U.S. at 286, 286 n.6 (``[W]e assume for purposes of this decision that  section 602 confers the authority to promulgate disparate-impact  regulations; * * * We cannot help observing, however, how strange it is  to say that disparate-impact regulations are `inspired by, at the  service of, and inseparably intertwined with' Sec. 601 * * * when Sec.  601 permits the very behavior that the regulations forbid.''). This  Guidance, however, makes clear that the DOJ disagreed with this  interpretation. Sandoval holds principally that there is no private  right of action to enforce Title VI disparate-impact regulations. It  did not address the validity of those regulations or Executive Order  13166 or otherwise limit the authority and responsibility of federal  grant agencies to enforce their own implementing regulations. The  Assistant Attorney General stated that because Sandoval did not  invalidate any Title VI regulations that proscribe conduct that has a  disparate impact on covered groups--the types of regulations that form  the legal basis for the part of Executive Order 13166 that applies to  federally-assisted programs and activities--the Executive Order remains  in force.     This HUD policy is published pursuant to Title VI, Title VI  regulations, and Executive Order 13166. It is consistent with the  DOJ's, ``Policy Guidance Document on Enforcement of National Origin  Discrimination Against  [[Page 70970]]  Persons with Limited English Proficiency,'' published on August 16,  2000, at 65 FR 50123, and the DOJ LEP Guidance issued on June 18, 2002,  and published on June 18, 2002, at 67 FR 41457.  III. Who Is Covered?      HUD's regulation, 24 CFR part 1, ``Nondiscrimination in Federally  Assisted Programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development-- Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,'' requires  all recipients of federal financial assistance from HUD to provide  meaningful access to LEP persons. Pursuant to Executive Order 13166,  the meaningful access requirement of the Title VI regulations and the  four-factor analysis set forth in this LEP Guidance are to additionally  apply to the programs and activities of federal agencies, including  HUD. Federal financial assistance includes grants, training, use of  equipment, donations of surplus property, and other assistance.  Recipients of HUD assistance include, for example:     [sbull] State and local governments;     [sbull] Public housing authorities;     [sbull] Assisted housing providers;     [sbull] Profit and nonprofit organizations; and     [sbull] Other entities receiving funds directly or indirectly from  HUD.     Subrecipients likewise are covered when federal funds are passed  through from one recipient to a subrecipient (e.g., Entitlement  Community Development Block Grant, State Block Grant, State Community  Development Block Grant, and HOME Recipients' subrecipients are  covered).     Coverage extends to a recipient's entire program or activity,  (i.e., to all parts of a recipient's operations). This is true even if  only one part of the recipient receives the federal assistance.     Example: HUD provides assistance to a state government's Department  of Community Development to improve a particular public facility. All  of the operations of the entire state Department of Community  Development--not just the particular facility--are covered. However, if  a federal agency were to decide to terminate federal funds based on  noncompliance with Title VI or its regulations, only funds directed to  the particular program or activity that is out of compliance would be  terminated (42 U.S.C. 2000d-1). Finally, some recipients operate in  jurisdictions in which English has been declared the official language.  Nonetheless, these recipients continue to be subject to federal non- discrimination requirements, including those applicable to the  provision of federally-assisted services to LEP persons.  IV. Who Is a Limited English Proficient Individual?      Persons who do not speak English as their primary language and who  have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English can  be LEP, entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular  type of service, benefit, or encounter. Examples of populations likely  to include LEP persons who are encountered and/or served by HUD  recipients and should be considered when planning language services  include, but are not limited to:     [sbull] Persons who are seeking housing assistance from a public  housing agency or assisted housing provider or are current tenants in  such housing;     [sbull] Persons seeking assistance from a state or local government  for a rehabilitation grant for their home;     [sbull] Persons who are attempting to file a housing discrimination  complaint with a local Fair Housing Assistance Program grantee;     [sbull] Persons who are seeking supportive services to become  first-time homebuyers;     [sbull] Persons seeking housing related social services, training,  or any other assistance from HUD recipients; and     [sbull] Parents and family members of the above.  V. How Does a Recipient Determine the Extent of Its Obligation To  Provide LEP Services?      Recipients are required to take reasonable steps to ensure  meaningful access to their programs and activities by LEP persons.  While designed to be a flexible and fact-dependent standard, the  starting point is an individualized assessment that balances the  following four factors: (1) The number or proportion of LEP persons  eligible to be served or likely to be encountered by the program or  grantee; (2) the frequency with which LEP persons come into contact  with the program; (3) the nature and importance of the program,  activity, or service provided by the program to people's lives; and (4)  the resources available to the grantee/recipient and costs. As  indicated above, the intent of this Guidance is to suggest a balance  that ensures meaningful access by LEP persons to critical services  while not imposing undue burdens on small business, small local  governments, or small nonprofits.     After applying the four-factor analysis, a recipient may conclude  that different language assistance measures are sufficient for the  different types of programs or activities in which it engages. For  instance, some of a recipient's activities will be more important than  others and/or have greater impact on or contact with LEP persons, and  thus may require more in the way of language assistance. The  flexibility that recipients have in addressing the needs of the LEP  populations they serve does not diminish, and should not be used to  minimize, the obligation that those needs be addressed. HUD recipients  should apply the following four factors to the various kinds of  contacts that they have with the public to assess language needs and  decide what reasonable steps they should take to ensure meaningful  access for LEP persons.  A. The Number or Proportion of LEP Persons Served or Encountered in the  Eligible Service Population      One factor in determining what language services recipients should  provide is the number or proportion of LEP persons from a particular  language group served or encountered in the eligible service  population. The greater the number or proportion of these LEP persons,  the more likely language services are needed. Ordinarily, persons  ``eligible to be served, or likely to be directly affected, by'' a  recipient's program or activity are those who are served or encountered  in the eligible service population. This population will be program- specific, and includes persons who are in the geographic area that has  been approved by HUD as the recipient's jurisdiction or service area.  However, where, for instance, a public housing project serves a large  LEP population, the appropriate service area for LEP services is most  likely the public housing project neighborhood, and not the entire  population served by the public housing agency. Where no service area  has previously been approved, the relevant service area may be that  which is approved by state or local authorities or designated by the  recipient itself, provided that these designations do not themselves  discriminatorily exclude certain populations. Appendix A provides  examples to assist in determining the relevant service area. When  considering the number or proportion of LEP persons in a service area,  recipients should consider LEP parent(s) when their English-proficient  or LEP minor children and dependents encounter the recipient.     Recipients should first examine their prior experiences with LEP  encounters and determine the breadth and scope of language services  that were needed. In conducting this analysis, it is important to  include language minority  [[Page 70971]]  populations that are eligible for their programs or activities but may  be underserved because of existing language barriers. Other data should  be consulted to refine or validate a recipient's prior experience,  including the latest census data for the area served, data from school  systems and from community organizations, and data from State and local  governments. The focus of the analysis is on lack of English  proficiency, not the ability to speak more than one language. Note that  demographic data may indicate the most frequently spoken languages  other than English and the percentage of people who speak that language  who speak or understand English less than well. Some of the most  commonly spoken languages other than English may be spoken by people  who are also overwhelmingly proficient in English. Thus, they may not  be the languages spoken most frequently by LEP persons. When using  demographic data, it is important to focus in on the languages spoken  by those who are not proficient in English. Community agencies, school  systems, grassroots and faith-based organizations, legal aid entities,  and others can often assist in identifying populations for whom  outreach is needed and who would benefit from the recipients' programs  and activities were language services provided.  B. The Frequency With Which LEP Individuals Come Into Contact With the  Program      Recipients should assess, as accurately as possible, the frequency  with which they have or should have contact with an LEP individual from  different language groups seeking assistance. The more frequent the  contact with a particular language group, the more likely that enhanced  language services in that language are needed. The steps that are  reasonable for a recipient that serves an LEP person on a one-time  basis will be very different than those expected from a recipient that  serves LEP persons daily. It is also advisable to consider the  frequency of different types of language contacts. For example,  frequent contacts with Spanish-speaking people who are LEP may require  certain assistance in Spanish. Less frequent contact with different  language groups may suggest a different and less intensified solution.  If an LEP individual accesses a program or service on a daily basis, a  recipient has greater duties than if the same individual's program or  activity contact is unpredictable or infrequent. But even recipients  that serve LEP persons on an unpredictable or infrequent basis should  use this balancing analysis to determine what to do if an LEP  individual seeks services under the program in question. This plan need  not be intricate. It may be as simple as being prepared to use one of  the commercially available telephonic interpretation services to obtain  immediate interpreter services. In applying this standard, recipients  should take care to consider whether appropriate outreach to LEP  persons could increase the frequency of contact with LEP language  groups.  C. The Nature and Importance of the Program, Activity, or Service  Provided by the Program      The more important the activity, information, service, or program,  or the greater the possible consequences of the contact to the LEP  persons, the more likely language services are needed. The obligations  to communicate rights to a person who is being evicted differ, for  example, from those to provide recreational programming. A recipient  needs to determine whether denial or delay of access to services or  information could have serious or even life-threatening implications  for the LEP individual. Decisions by HUD, another federal, state, or  local entity, or the recipient to make a specific activity compulsory  in order to participate in the program, such as filling out particular  forms, participating in administrative hearings, or other activities,  can serve as strong evidence of the program's importance.  D. The Resources Available to the Recipient and Costs      A recipient's level of resources and the costs that would be  imposed on it may have an impact on the nature of the steps it should  take. Smaller recipients with more limited budgets are not expected to  provide the same level of language services as larger recipients with  larger budgets. In addition, ``reasonable steps'' may cease to be  reasonable where the costs imposed substantially exceed the benefits.     Resource and cost issues, however, can often be reduced by  technological advances; the sharing of language assistance materials  and services among and between recipients, advocacy groups, and federal  grant agencies; and reasonable business practices. Where appropriate,  training bilingual staff to act as interpreters and translators,  information sharing through industry groups, telephonic and video  conferencing interpretation services, pooling resources and  standardizing documents to reduce translation needs, using qualified  translators and interpreters to ensure that documents need not be  ``fixed'' later and that inaccurate interpretations do not cause delay  or other costs, centralizing interpreter and translator services to  achieve economies of scale, or the formalized use of qualified  community volunteers, for example, may help reduce costs. Recipients  should carefully explore the most cost-effective means of delivering  competent and accurate language services before limiting services due  to resource concerns. Small recipients with limited resources may find  that entering into a bulk telephonic interpretation service contract  will prove cost effective. Large entities and those entities serving a  significant number or proportion of LEP persons should ensure that  their resource limitations are well-substantiated before using this  factor as a reason to limit language assistance. Such recipients may  find it useful to be able to articulate, through documentation or in  some other reasonable manner, their process for determining that  language services would be limited based on resources or costs.     This four-factor analysis necessarily implicates the ``mix'' of LEP  services required. Recipients have two main ways to provide language  services: oral interpretation either in person or via telephone  interpretation service (hereinafter ``interpretation''); and written  translation (hereinafter ``translation''). Oral interpretation can  range from on-site interpreters for critical services provided to a  high volume of LEP persons to access through commercially available  telephonic interpretation services. Written translation, likewise, can  range from translation of an entire document to translation of a short  description of the document. In some cases, language services should be  made available on an expedited basis while in others the LEP individual  may be referred to another office of the recipient for language  assistance.     The correct mix should be based on what is both necessary and  reasonable in light of the four-factor analysis. For instance, a public  housing provider in a largely Hispanic neighborhood may need immediate  oral interpreters available and should give serious consideration to  hiring some bilingual staff. (Of course, many have already made such  arrangements.) In contrast, there may be circumstances where the  importance and nature of the activity and number or proportion and  frequency of contact with LEP persons may be low and the costs and  resources needed to provide language services may be high--such as in  the case of a voluntary public tour of a recreational  [[Page 70972]]  facility--in which pre-arranged language services for the particular  service may not be necessary. Regardless of the type of language  service provided, quality and accuracy of those services can be  critical in order to avoid serious consequences to the LEP person and  to the recipient. Recipients have substantial flexibility in  determining the appropriate mix.  VI. Selecting Language Assistance Services      Recipients have two main ways to provide language services: oral,  and written language services. Quality and accuracy of the language  service is critical in order to avoid serious consequences to the LEP  person and to the recipient.  A. Oral Language Services (Interpretation)      Interpretation is the act of listening to something in one language  (source language) and orally translating it into another language  (target language). Where interpretation is needed and is reasonable,  recipients should consider some or all of the following options for  providing competent interpreters in a timely manner: 1. Competence of Interpreters     When providing oral assistance, recipients should ensure competency  of the language service provider, no matter which of the strategies  outlined below are used. Competency requires more than self- identification as bilingual. Some bilingual staff and community  volunteers, for instance, may be able to communicate effectively in a  different language when communicating information directly in that  language, but not be competent to interpret in and out of English.  Likewise, they may not be able to do written translations.     Competency to interpret, however, does not necessarily mean formal  certification as an interpreter, although certification is helpful.  When using interpreters, recipients should ensure that they:     [sbull] Demonstrate proficiency in and ability to communicate  information accurately in both English and in the other language and  identify and employ the appropriate mode of interpreting (e.g.,  consecutive, simultaneous, summarization, or sight translation);     [sbull] Have knowledge in both languages of any specialized terms  or concepts peculiar to the entity's program or activity and of any  particularized vocabulary and phraseology used by the LEP person and  understand and follow confidentiality and impartiality rules to the  same extent the recipient employee for whom they are interpreting or to  the extent their position requires or both. Many languages have  ``regionalisms,'' or differences in usage. For instance, a word that  may be understood to mean something in Spanish for someone from Cuba  may not be so understood by someone from Mexico. In addition, because  there may be languages which do not have an appropriate direct  interpretation of some courtroom or legal terms and the interpreter  should be so aware and be able to provide the most appropriate  interpretation. The interpreter should likely make the recipient aware  of the issue and the interpreter and recipient can then work to develop  a consistent and appropriate set of descriptions of these terms in that  language that can be used again, when appropriate; and     [sbull] Understand and adhere to their role as interpreters without  deviating into a role as counselor, legal advisor, or other roles  (particularly in court, administrative hearings, or law enforcement  contexts).     Some recipients may have additional self-imposed requirements for  interpreters. Where individual rights depend on precise, complete, and  accurate interpretation or translations, the use of certified  interpreters is strongly encouraged. For those languages in which no  formal accreditation or certification currently exists, recipients  should consider a formal process for establishing the credentials of  the interpreter. Where such proceedings are lengthy, the interpreter  will likely need breaks and team interpreting may be appropriate to  ensure accuracy and to prevent errors caused by mental fatigue of  interpreters.     While quality and accuracy of language services is critical, the  quality and accuracy of language services is nonetheless part of the  appropriate mix of LEP services required. The quality and accuracy of  language services in an abused woman's shelter, for example, must be  extraordinarily high, while the quality and accuracy of language  services in a recreational program need not meet the same exacting  standards.     Finally, when interpretation is needed and is reasonable, it should  be provided in a timely manner. To be meaningfully effective, language  assistance should be timely. While there is no single definition for  ``timely'' applicable to all types of interactions at all times by all  types of recipients, one clear guide is that the language assistance  should be provided at a time and place that avoids the effective denial  of the service, benefit, or right at issue or the imposition of an  undue burden on or delay in important rights, benefits, or services to  the LEP person. For example, when the timeliness of services is  important, such as with certain activities of HUD recipients providing  housing, health, and safety services, and when important legal rights  are at issue, a recipient would likely not be providing meaningful  access if it had one bilingual staff person available one day a week to  provide the service. Such conduct would likely result in delays for LEP  persons that would be significantly greater than those for English  proficient persons. Conversely, where access to or exercise of a  service, benefit, or right is not effectively precluded by a reasonable  delay, language assistance can likely be delayed for a reasonable  period. 2. Hiring Bilingual Staff     When particular languages are encountered often, hiring bilingual  staff offers one of the best, and often most economical, options.  Recipients can, for example, fill public contact positions, such as  persons who take public housing or Section 8 applications, with staff  who are bilingual and competent to communicate directly with LEP  persons in their own language. If bilingual staff is also used to  interpret between English speakers and LEP persons, or to orally  interpret written documents from English into another language, they  should be competent in the skill of interpreting. Being bilingual does  not necessarily mean that a person has the ability to interpret. In  addition, there may be times when the role of the bilingual employee  may conflict with the role of an interpreter (for instance, a bilingual  intake specialist would probably not be able to perform effectively the  role of an administrative hearing interpreter and intake specialist at  the same time, even if the intake specialist were a qualified  interpreter). Effective management strategies, including any  appropriate adjustments in assignments and protocols for using  bilingual staff, can ensure that bilingual staff is fully and  appropriately utilized. When bilingual staff cannot meet all of the  language service obligations of the recipient, the recipient should  turn to other options. 3. Hiring Staff Interpreters     Hiring interpreters may be most helpful where there is a frequent  need for interpreting services in one or more languages. Depending on  the facts, sometimes it may be necessary and reasonable to provide on- site interpreters to provide accurate and meaningful communication with  an LEP person.  [[Page 70973]]  4. Contracting for Interpreters     Contract interpreters may be a cost-effective option when there is  no regular need for a particular language skill. In addition to  commercial and other private providers, many community-based  organizations and mutual assistance associations provide interpretation  services for particular languages. Contracting with and providing  training regarding the recipient's programs and processes to these  organizations can be a cost-effective option for providing language  services to LEP persons from those language groups. 5. Using Telephone Interpreter Services     Telephone interpreter service lines often offer speedy interpreting  assistance in many different languages. They may be particularly  appropriate where the mode of communicating with an English proficient  person would also be over the phone. Although telephonic interpretation  services are useful in many situations, it is important to ensure that,  when using such services, the interpreters used are competent to  interpret any technical or legal terms specific to a particular program  that may be important parts of the conversation. Nuances in language  and non-verbal communication can often assist an interpreter and cannot  be recognized over the phone. Video teleconferencing may sometimes help  to resolve this issue where necessary. In addition, where documents are  being discussed, it is important to give telephonic interpreters  adequate opportunity to review the document prior to the discussion and  any logistical problems should be addressed. 6. Using Community Volunteers     In addition to consideration of bilingual staff, staff  interpreters, or contract interpreters (either in-person or by  telephone) as options to ensure meaningful access by LEP persons, use  of recipient-coordinated community volunteers, working with, for  instance, community-based organizations may provide a cost-effective  supplemental language assistance strategy under appropriate  circumstances. They may be particularly useful in providing language  access for a recipient's less critical programs and activities. To the  extent the recipient relies on community volunteers, it is often best  to use volunteers who are trained in the information or services of the  program and can communicate directly with LEP persons in their  language. Just as with all interpreters, community volunteers used to  interpret between English speakers and LEP persons, or to orally  translate documents, should be competent in the skill of interpreting  and knowledgeable about applicable confidentiality and impartiality  rules. Recipients should consider formal arrangements with community- based organizations that provide volunteers to address these concerns  and to help ensure that services are available more regularly. 7. Use of Family Members or Friends as Interpreters     Although recipients should not plan to rely on an LEP person's  family members, friends, or other informal interpreters to provide  meaningful access to important programs and activities, where LEP  persons so desire, they should be permitted to use, at their own  expense, an interpreter of their own choosing (whether a professional  interpreter, family member, or friend) in place of or as a supplement  to the free language services expressly offered by the recipient. LEP  persons may feel more comfortable when a trusted family member or  friend acts as an interpreter. In addition, in exigent circumstances  that are not reasonably foreseeable, temporary use of interpreters not  provided by the recipient may be necessary. However, with proper  planning and implementation, recipients should be able to avoid most  such situations.     Recipients, however, should take special care to ensure that  family, legal guardians, caretakers, and other informal interpreters  are appropriate in light of the circumstances and subject matter of the  program, service or activity, including protection of the recipient's  own administrative or enforcement interest in accurate interpretation.  In many circumstances, family members (especially children) or friends  are not competent to provide quality and accurate interpretations.  Issues of confidentiality, privacy, or conflict of interest may also  arise. LEP persons may feel uncomfortable revealing or describing  sensitive, confidential, or potentially embarrassing medical, law  enforcement (e.g., sexual or violent assaults), family, or financial  information to a family member, friend, or member of the local  community. For example, special circumstances may raise additional  serious concerns regarding the voluntary nature, conflicts of interest,  and privacy issues surrounding the use of family members and friends as  interpreters, particularly where an important right, benefit, service,  disciplinary concern, or access to personal or law enforcement  information is at stake. In addition to ensuring competency and  accuracy of the interpretation, recipients should take these special  circumstances into account when determining whether a beneficiary makes  a knowing and voluntary choice to use another family member or friend  as an interpreter. Furthermore, such informal interpreters may have a  personal connection to the LEP person or an undisclosed conflict of  interest, such as the desire to protect themselves or another  perpetrator in a domestic violence or other criminal matter. For these  reasons, when oral language services are necessary, recipients should  generally offer competent interpreter services free of cost to the LEP  person. For HUD recipient programs and activities, this is particularly  true in a courtroom, an administrative hearing, or situations in which  health, safety, or access to important housing benefits and services  are at stake, or when credibility and accuracy are important to protect  an individual's rights and access to important services.     An example of such a case is when a property manager/or housing  authority security or local police respond to a domestic disturbance.  In such a case, use of family members or neighbors to interpret for the  alleged victim, perpetrator, or witnesses may raise serious issues of  competency, confidentiality, and conflict of interest and is thus  inappropriate. While issues of competency, confidentiality, and  conflict of interest in the use of family members (especially children)  or friends often make their use inappropriate, the use of these  individuals as interpreters may be an appropriate option where proper  application of the four factors would lead to a conclusion that  recipient-provided services are not necessary. An example of this is a  voluntary tour of a community recreational facility built with  Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds offered to the public.  There, the importance and nature of the activity may be relatively low  and unlikely to implicate issues of confidentiality, conflict of  interest, or the need for accuracy. In addition, the resources needed  and costs of providing language services may be high. In such a  setting, an LEP person's use of family, friends, or others may be  appropriate.     If the LEP person voluntarily chooses to provide his/her own  interpreter, a recipient should consider whether a record of that  choice and of the recipient's offer of assistance is appropriate. Where  precise, complete, and accurate interpretations or translations of  information and/or testimony are critical for legal reasons,  [[Page 70974]]  or where the competency of the LEP person's interpreter is not  established, a recipient might decide to provide its own, independent  interpreter, even if an LEP person wants to use his or her own  interpreter as well. Extra caution should be exercised when the LEP  person chooses to use a minor as the interpreter. While the LEP  person's decision should be respected, there may be additional issues  of competency, confidentiality, or conflict of interest when the choice  involves using children as interpreters. The recipient should take care  to ensure that the LEP person's choice is voluntary, that the LEP  person is aware of the possible problems if the preferred interpreter  is a minor child, and that the LEP person knows that a competent  interpreter could be provided by the recipient at no cost.  B. Written Language Services (Translation)      Translation is the replacement of a written text from one language  (source language) into an equivalent written text in another language  (target language). It should be kept in mind that many LEP persons may  not be able to read their native languages and back-up availability of  oral interpretation is always advantageous. 1. What Documents Should Be Translated?     After applying the four-factor analysis, a recipient may determine  that an effective LEP plan for its particular program or activity  includes the translation of vital written materials into the language  of each frequently encountered LEP group eligible to be served and/or  likely to be affected by the recipient's program.     Such written materials could include, for example:     [sbull] Consent and complaint forms;     [sbull] Intake forms with the potential for important consequences;     [sbull] Written notices of rights, denial, loss, or decreases in  benefits or services, and other hearings;     [sbull] Notices of eviction;     [sbull] Notices advising LEP persons of free language assistance;     [sbull] Leases and tenant rules; and/or     [sbull] Applications to participate in a recipient's program or  activity or to receive recipient benefits or services.     Whether or not a document (or the information it solicits) is  ``vital'' may depend upon the importance of the program, information,  encounter, or service involved, and the consequence to the LEP person  if the information in question is not provided accurately or in a  timely manner. For instance, applications for certain recreational  activities should not generally be considered vital documents, whereas  applications for housing could be considered vital. Where appropriate,  recipients are encouraged to create a plan for consistently  determining, over time and across its various activities, what  documents are ``vital'' to the meaningful access of the LEP populations  they serve.     Classifying a document as vital or non-vital is sometimes  difficult, especially in the case of outreach materials like brochures  or other information on rights and services. Awareness of rights or  services is an important part of ``meaningful access.'' Lack of  awareness that a particular program, right, or service exists may  effectively deny LEP persons meaningful access. Thus, where a recipient  is engaged in community outreach activities in furtherance of its  activities, it should regularly assess the needs of the populations  frequently encountered or affected by the program or activity to  determine whether certain critical outreach materials should be  translated. Community organizations may be helpful in determining what  outreach materials may be most helpful to translate. In addition, the  recipient should consider whether translations of outreach material may  be made more effective when done in tandem with other outreach methods,  including utilizing the ethnic media, schools, grassroots and faith- based organizations, and community organizations to spread a message.     Sometimes a document includes both vital and non-vital information.  This may be the case when the document is very large. It may also be  the case when the title and a phone number for obtaining more  information on the contents of the document in frequently encountered  languages other than English is critical, but the document is sent out  to the general public and cannot reasonably be translated into many  languages. Thus, vital information may include, for instance, the  provision of information in appropriate languages other than English  regarding where a LEP person might obtain an interpretation or  translation of the document. 2. Into What Languages Should Documents Be Translated?     The languages spoken by the LEP persons with whom the recipient has  contact determine the languages into which vital documents should be  translated. A distinction should be made, however, between languages  that are frequently encountered by a recipient and less commonly  encountered languages. Many recipients serve communities in large  cities or across the country. They regularly serve LEP persons who  speak dozens and sometimes over 100 different languages. To translate  all written materials into all of those languages is unrealistic.  Although recent technological advances have made it easier for  recipients to store and share translated documents, such an undertaking  would incur substantial costs and require substantial resources.  Nevertheless, well-substantiated claims of lack of resources to  translate all vital documents into dozens of languages do not  necessarily relieve the recipient of the obligation to translate those  documents into at least several of the more frequently-encountered  languages and to set benchmarks for continued translations into the  remaining languages over time. As a result, the extent of the  recipient's obligation to provide written translations of documents  should be determined by the recipient on a case-by-case basis, looking  at the totality of the circumstances in light of the four-factor  analysis. Because translation is a one-time expense, consideration  should be given to whether the upfront cost of translating a document  (as opposed to oral interpretation) should be amortized over the likely  lifespan of the document when applying this four-factor analysis. 3. Safe Harbor     Many recipients would like to ensure with greater certainty that  they comply with their obligations to provide written translations in  languages other than English. Paragraphs (a) and (b) outline the  circumstances that can provide a ``safe harbor'' for recipients  regarding the requirements for translation of written materials. A  ``safe harbor'' means that if a recipient provides written translations  under these circumstances, such action will be considered strong  evidence of compliance with the recipient's written-translation  obligations. The failure to provide written translations under the  circumstances outlined in paragraphs (a) and (b) does not mean there is  non-compliance. Rather, they provide a common starting point for  recipients to consider: whether and at what point the importance of the  service, benefit, or activity involved; the nature of the information  sought; and the number or proportion of LEP persons served call for  written translations of commonly-used forms into frequently-encountered  languages other than English. Therefore, these paragraphs merely  provide a guide for recipients that would like greater certainty of  compliance than can be  [[Page 70975]]  provided by a fact-intensive, four-factor analysis.     Example: Even if the safe harbors are not used, if written  translation of a certain document(s) would be so burdensome as to  defeat the legitimate objectives of its program, the translation of the  written materials is not necessary. Other ways of providing meaningful  access, such as effective oral interpretation of certain vital  documents, might be acceptable under such circumstances.     The following actions will be considered strong evidence of  compliance with the recipient's written-translation obligations:     (a) The HUD recipient provides written translations of vital  documents for each eligible LEP language group that constitutes 5  percent or 1,000 persons, whichever is less, of the population of  persons eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered.  Translation of other documents, if needed, can be provided orally; or     (b) If there are fewer than 50 persons in a language group that  reaches the 5 percent trigger in (a), the recipient does not translate  vital written materials, but provides written notice in the primary  language of the LEP language group of the right to receive competent  oral interpretation of those written materials, free of cost.     These safe harbor provisions apply to the translation of written  documents only. They do not affect the requirement to provide  meaningful access to LEP persons through competent oral interpreters  where oral language services are needed and are reasonable. For  example, housing facilities should, where appropriate, ensure that  leases have been explained to LEP residents, at intake meetings, for  instance, prior to taking adverse action against them. 4. Competence of Translators     As with oral interpreters, translators of written documents should  be competent. Many of the same considerations apply. However, the skill  of translating is very different from the skill of interpreting, and a  person who is a competent interpreter may or may not be competent to  translate.     Particularly where legal or other vital documents are being  translated, competence can often be achieved by use of certified  translators. Certification or accreditation may not always be possible  or necessary. For those languages in which no formal accreditation  currently exists, a particular level of membership in a professional  translation association can provide some indicator of professionalism.  Competence can often be ensured by having a second, independent  translator ``check'' the work of the primary translator. Alternatively,  one translator can translate the document, and a second, independent  translator could translate it back into English to check that the  appropriate meaning has been conveyed. This is called ``back  translation.''     Translators should understand the expected reading level of the  audience and, where appropriate, have fundamental knowledge about the  target language group's vocabulary and phraseology. Sometimes direct  translation of materials results in a translation that is written at a  much more difficult level than the English language version or has no  relevant equivalent meaning. For instance, there may be languages that  do not have an appropriate direct translation of some English language  terms and the translator should be able to provide an appropriate  translation. The translator should likely also make the recipient aware  of this. Recipients can then work with translators to develop a  consistent and appropriate set of descriptions of these terms in that  language that can be used again, when appropriate. Recipients will find  it more effective and less costly if they try to maintain consistency  in the words and phrases used to translate terms of art and legal or  other technical concepts. Creating or using already-created glossaries  of commonly used terms may be useful for LEP persons and translators  and cost-effective for the recipient. Providing translators with  examples of previous translations of similar material by the recipient,  other recipients, or federal agencies may be helpful. Community  organizations may be able to help consider whether a document is  written at a good level for the audience. Likewise, consistency in the  words and phrases used to translate terms of art, legal, or other  technical concepts helps avoid confusion by LEP persons and may reduce  costs.     While quality and accuracy of translation services is critical, the  quality and accuracy of translation services is nonetheless part of the  appropriate mix of LEP services required. For instance, documents that  are simple and have no legal or other consequence for LEP persons who  rely on them may require translators that are less skilled than  important documents with legal or other information upon which reliance  has important consequences (including, e.g., information or documents  of HUD recipients regarding certain safety issues and certain legal  rights or programmatic or other obligations). The permanent nature of  written translations, however, imposes additional responsibility on the  recipient to ensure that the quality and accuracy permit meaningful  access by LEP persons.  VII. Elements of Effective Plan on Language Assistance for LEP Persons      After completing the four-factor analysis and deciding what  language assistance services are appropriate, a recipient should  develop an implementation plan to address the identified needs of the  LEP populations they serve. Recipients have considerable flexibility in  developing this plan. The development and maintenance of a  periodically-updated written plan on language assistance for LEP  persons (``LEP plan'') for use by recipient employees serving the  public will likely be the most appropriate and cost-effective means of  documenting compliance and providing a framework for the provision of  timely and reasonable language assistance. Moreover, such written plans  would likely provide additional benefits to a recipient's managers in  the areas of training, administration, planning, and budgeting. These  benefits should lead most recipients to document in a written LEP plan  their language assistance services, and how staff and LEP persons can  access those services. Despite these benefits, certain HUD recipients,  such as recipients serving very few LEP persons and recipients with  very limited resources, may choose not to develop a written LEP plan.  However, the absence of a written LEP plan does not obviate the  underlying obligation to ensure meaningful access by LEP persons to a  recipient's program or activities. Accordingly, in the event that a  recipient elects not to develop a written plan, it should consider  alternative ways to articulate in some other reasonable manner a plan  for providing meaningful access. Entities having significant contact  with LEP persons, such as schools, grassroots and faith-based  organizations, community groups, and groups working with new immigrants  can be very helpful in providing important input into this planning  process from the beginning.     The following five steps may be helpful in designing an LEP plan  and are typically part of effective implementation plans.  (1) Identifying LEP Individuals Who Need Language Assistance      The first two factors in the four-factor analysis require an  assessment of the number or proportion of LEP  [[Page 70976]]  individuals eligible to be served or encountered and the frequency of  encounters. This requires recipients to identify LEP persons with whom  they have contact. One way to determine the language of communication  is to use language identification cards (or ``I speak'' cards), which  invite LEP persons to identify their language needs to staff. Such  cards, for instance, might say, ``I speak Spanish'' in both Spanish and  English, ``I speak Vietnamese'' in both Vietnamese and English, etc. To  reduce costs of compliance, the federal government has made a set of  these cards available on the Internet. The Census Bureau ``I speak''  card can be found and downloaded at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/13166.htm.  When records are normally kept of past interactions with   members of the public, the language of the LEP person can be included  as part of the record. In addition to helping employees identify the  language of LEP persons they encounter, this process will help in  future applications of the first two factors of the four-factor  analysis. In addition, posting notices in commonly encountered  languages notifying LEP persons of language assistance will encourage  them to self-identify.  (2) Language Assistance Measures      An effective LEP plan would likely include information about the  ways in which language assistance will be provided. For instance,  recipients may want to include information on at least the following:     [sbull] Types of language services available;     [sbull] How staff can obtain those services;     [sbull] How to respond to LEP callers;     [sbull] How to respond to written communications from LEP persons;     [sbull] How to respond to LEP persons who have in-person contact  with recipient staff; and     [sbull] How to ensure competency of interpreters and translation  services.  (3) Training Staff      Staff should know their obligations to provide meaningful access to  information and services for LEP persons. An effective LEP plan would  likely include training to ensure that:     [sbull] Staff know about LEP policies and procedures; and     [sbull] Staff having contact with the public is trained to work  effectively with in-person and telephone interpreters.     Recipients may want to include this training as part of their  orientation for new employees. It is important to ensure that all  employees in public contact positions (or having contact with those in  a recipient's custody) are properly trained. Recipients have  flexibility in deciding the manner in which the training is provided.  The more frequent the contact with LEP persons, the greater the need  will be for in-depth training. Staff with little or no contact with LEP  persons may only have to be aware of an LEP plan. However, management  staff, even if they do not interact regularly with LEP persons, should  be fully aware of and understand the plan so they can reinforce its  importance and ensure its implementation by staff.  (4) Providing Notice to LEP Persons      Once an agency has decided, based on the four factors, that it will  provide language services, it is important for the recipient to let LEP  persons know that those services are available and that they are free  of charge. Recipients should provide this notice in a language that LEP  persons will understand. Examples of notification that recipients  should consider include:     [sbull] Posting signs in common areas, offices, and anywhere  applications are taken. When language assistance is needed to ensure  meaningful access to information and services, it is important to  provide notice in appropriate languages in initial points of contact so  that LEP persons can learn how to access those language services. This  is particularly true in geographic areas with high volumes of LEP  persons seeking access to the recipient's major programs and  activities. For instance, signs in offices where applications are taken  could state that free language assistance is available. The signs  should be translated into the most common languages encountered. The  signs should explain how to receive language assistance. The Social  Security Administration has made such signs available at http://www.ssa.gov/multilanguage/langlist1.htm.  These signs could, for   example, be modified for recipient use;     [sbull] Stating in outreach documents that language services are  available from the agency. Announcements could be in, for instance,  brochures, booklets, and in outreach and recruitment information. These  statements should be translated into the most common languages and  could be ``tagged'' onto the front of common documents;     [sbull] Working with grassroots and faith-based community  organizations and other stakeholders to inform LEP individuals of the  recipients' services, including the availability of language assistance  services;     [sbull] Using a telephone voice mail menu. The menu could be in the  most common languages encountered. It should provide information about  available language assistance services and how to get them;     [sbull] Including notices in local newspapers in languages other  than English;     [sbull] Providing notices on non-English-language radio and  television stations about the available language assistance services  and how to get them; and     [sbull] Presentations and/or notices at schools and grassroots and  faith-based organizations.  (5) Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan      Recipients should, where appropriate, have a process for  determining, on an ongoing basis, whether new documents, programs,  services, and activities need to be made accessible for LEP persons,  and they may want to provide notice of any changes in services to the  LEP public and to employees. In addition, recipients should consider  whether changes in demographics, types of services, or other needs  require annual reevaluation of their LEP plan. Less frequent  reevaluation may be more appropriate where demographics, services, and  needs are more static. One good way to evaluate the LEP plan is to seek  feedback from the community that the plan serves.     In their reviews, recipients may want to consider assessing changes  in:     [sbull] Current LEP populations in the housing jurisdiction  geographic area or population affected or encountered;     [sbull] Frequency of encounters with LEP language groups;     [sbull] Nature and importance of activities to LEP persons;     [sbull] Availability of resources, including technological advances  and sources of additional resources, and the costs imposed;     [sbull] Whether existing assistance is meeting the needs of LEP  persons;     [sbull] Whether staff knows and understands the LEP plan and how to  implement it; and     [sbull] Whether identified sources for assistance are still  available and viable.     In addition to these five elements, effective plans set clear  goals, management accountability, and opportunities for community input  and planning throughout the process.  VIII. Voluntary Compliance Effort      The goal for Title VI and Title VI regulatory enforcement is to  achieve voluntary compliance. The requirement to provide meaningful  access to LEP persons is enforced and implemented by HUD through the  procedures identified in the Title VI regulations. These procedures  include complaint  [[Page 70977]]  investigations, compliance reviews, efforts to secure voluntary  compliance, and technical assistance.     The Title VI regulations provide that HUD will investigate whenever  it receives a complaint, report, or other information that alleges or  indicates possible noncompliance with Title VI or its regulations. The  Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is responsible for  conducting the investigation to ensure that recipients are in  compliance with civil rights related programs requirements. If the  investigation results in a finding of compliance, HUD will inform the  recipient in writing of this determination, including the basis for the  determination. HUD uses voluntary methods to resolve most complaints.  However, if a case is fully investigated and results in a finding of  noncompliance, HUD must inform the recipient of the noncompliance  through a ``Letter of Findings'' that sets out the areas of  noncompliance and the steps that must be taken to correct the  noncompliance. It must attempt to secure voluntary compliance through  informal means. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, HUD must  secure compliance through the termination of federal assistance after  the HUD recipient has been given an opportunity for an administrative  hearing and/or by referring the matter to a DOJ litigation section to  seek injunctive relief or pursue other enforcement proceedings. HUD  engages in voluntary compliance efforts and provides technical  assistance to recipients at all stages of an investigation. During  these efforts, HUD proposes reasonable timetables for achieving  compliance and consults with and assists recipients in exploring cost- effective ways of coming into compliance. In determining a recipient's  compliance with the Title VI regulations, HUD's primary concern is to  ensure that the recipient's policies and procedures provide meaningful  access for LEP persons to the recipient's programs and activities.     While all recipients must work toward building systems that will  ensure access for LEP persons, HUD acknowledges that the implementation  of a comprehensive system to serve LEP persons is a process and that a  system will evolve over time as it is implemented and periodically  reevaluated. As recipients take reasonable steps to provide meaningful  access to federally-assisted programs and activities for LEP persons,  HUD will look favorably on intermediate steps recipients take that are  consistent with this Guidance, and that, as part of a broader  implementation plan or schedule, move their service delivery system  toward providing full access to LEP persons. This does not excuse  noncompliance but instead recognizes that full compliance in all areas  of a recipient's activities and for all potential language minority  groups may reasonably require a series of implementing actions over a  period of time. However, in developing any phased implementation  schedule, HUD recipients should ensure that the provision of  appropriate assistance for significant LEP populations or with respect  to activities having a significant impact on the housing, health,  safety, legal rights, or livelihood of beneficiaries is addressed  first. Recipients are encouraged to document their efforts to provide  LEP persons with meaningful access to federally-assisted programs and  activities.  IX. Application to Specific Types of Recipients      Appendix A of this Guidance provides examples of how the meaningful  access requirement of the Title VI regulations applies to HUD-funded  recipients. It further explains how recipients can apply the four  factors to a range of situations to determine their responsibility for  providing language services in each of these situations. This Guidance  helps recipients identify the population they should consider when  determining the extent and types of services to provide. For instance,  it gives examples on how to apply this guidance in situations like:     [sbull] Holding public meetings on the Consolidated Plans for  Community Planning and Development Programs (CDBG, HOME, Housing  Opportunity for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), and Emergency Shelter Grants  (ESG));     [sbull] Interviewing victims of housing discrimination;     [sbull] Helping applicants to apply for public housing units;     [sbull] Explaining lease provisions; and     [sbull] Providing affirmative marketing housing counseling  services.      Dated: November 10, 2003. Carolyn Peoples, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.  Appendix A: Application of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Guidance  for HUD Recipients  Introduction      A wide range of entities receives federal financial assistance  through HUD. HUD provides assistance to the following types of  recipients, among others: assisted housing providers; public housing  agencies; state and local governments; nonprofit organizations,  including housing counseling agencies and grassroots community-based  and faith-based organizations; state and local fair housing  agencies; and providers of a variety of services. All HUD-funded  recipients are required to certify to nondiscrimination and  affirmatively furthering fair housing, either through the Office of  Community Planning and Development's (CPD's) Consolidated Plan, (24  CFR 91.225 (a)(1) and (b)(6), 91.325(a)(1), 91.425(a)(i)); the  public housing agency plans processes (24 CFR 903.7(o)); or the  certifications required in the competitive programs funded through  the Super Notice of Funding Availability (SuperNOFA). [Note: HUD  publishes the SuperNOFA on an annual basis. The non-discrimination  and the affirmative furthering fair housing requirements are found  in the General Section of the SuperNOFA]. The website for the  SuperNOFA is: http://www.hud.gov/library/bookshelf18/supernofa/index.cfm.  This LEP Guidance does not change current civil rights   related program requirements contained in HUD regulations.     This Appendix provides examples of how HUD recipients might  apply the four-factor analysis described in the general guidance.  The Guidance and examples in this Appendix are not meant to be  exhaustive and may not apply in some situations. CPD's citizen  participation plan requirement, in particular, specifically  instructs jurisdictions that receive funds through the Consolidated  Plan process to take appropriate actions to encourage the  participation of ``* * * non-English speaking persons * * *'' (24  CFR 91.105(a)(2)(ii), 91.115(a)(2)). Such recipients may, therefore,  have processes in place to address the needs of their LEP  beneficiaries that already take into consideration the four-factor  analysis and meet the Title VI and regulatory requirements described  in this Guidance.     This Guidance does not supplant any constitutional, statutory,  or regulatory provisions that may require LEP services. Rather, this  Guidance clarifies the Title VI and regulatory obligation to  address, in appropriate circumstances and in a reasonable manner,  the language assistance needs of LEP persons beyond those required  by the Constitution or by statutes and regulations other than Title  VI and the Title VI regulations.     Tribes and tribally-designated housing entities (TDHEs) are  authorized to use federal housing assistance made available under  the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of  1996 (NAHASDA, 25 U.S.C. 4101-4212) for low-income housing programs  or activities for the specific benefit of tribal members or other  Native Americans. Programs or activities funded in whole or in part  with federal assistance made available under NAHASDA are exempt from  Title VI and Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Although  Title VI may not apply to housing programs undertaken by these  entities under NAHASDA, this Guidance may be a helpful technical  assistance tool in determining whether and to what degree language  assistance may be appropriate to ensure meaningful access by  otherwise eligible low-income Native Americans.     For many members of the public, exposure to housing and social  service programs  [[Page 70978]]  begins and ends with their interactions with HUD recipients that are  responding to a request for services or assistance or are conducting  education and community outreach activities. The common thread  running through interactions between the public and HUD recipients  is the exchange of information. Recipients of HUD assistance,  dependant on circumstances, have an obligation to provide  appropriate types and levels of language services to LEP persons to  ensure that they have meaningful access to, and choice of, housing  and other HUD-funded programs. Language barriers can, for example,  prevent persons from learning of housing opportunities or applying  for and receiving such opportunities, learning of environmental or  safety problems in their communities and of the means available for  dealing with such problems, or effectively reporting housing  discrimination to the local fair housing agency or HUD, thus  hindering investigation of these allegations.     Many recipients already provide language services in a wide  variety of circumstances to obtain information effectively and help  applicants obtain suitable housing or support services. For example,  public housing agencies may have leases available in languages other  than English as well as interpreters available to inform LEP persons  of their rights and responsibilities. In areas where significant LEP  populations reside, agencies may have forms and notices in languages  other than English or they may employ bilingual intake personnel,  housing counselors, and support staff. Such recipients may therefore  have processes in place to address the needs of their LEP  beneficiaries that meet the Title VI and regulatory requirements  described in this Guidance. Such existing processes and their  observed results can form a strong basis for applying the four- factor analysis and complying with the Title VI regulations.  General Principles      The touchstone of the four-factor analysis is reasonableness  based upon: (a) The specific needs and capabilities of the LEP  population among the beneficiaries of HUD programs (tenants,  applicants, community residents, complainants, etc.); (b) the  program purposes and capabilities of the HUD-funded recipients  providing the services to the LEP population; and (c) local housing,  demographic, and other community conditions and needs. Accordingly,  the analysis cannot provide a single uniform answer on how service  to LEP persons must be provided in all programs or activities in all  situations or whether such service need be provided at all. Each HUD  recipient's evaluation of the need and level of LEP services for  each process in its services must be highly individualized.     Before giving specific program examples, several general points  should assist the wide variety of HUD recipients in applying this  analysis.  Factors (1) and (2): Target Audiences      In evaluating the target audience, the recipient should take  into account the number and proportion of LEP persons served or to  be served in the target population as well as the frequency with  which this target audience will or should be served.     Factor (1): For most recipients, the target audience is defined  in geographic rather than programmatic terms. In many cases, even if  the overall number or proportion of LEP persons in the local area is  low, the actual number of LEP persons served by the program may be  high.     HUD recipients are required to reach out to, educate, and  affirmatively market their services to potential beneficiaries in  the geographic area who are least likely to apply for or receive the  benefits of the program without such affirmative marketing (24 CFR  200.625, 24 CFR 92.351, 24 CFR 903. 2(d)(1) and (2)). In many cases,  those least likely to apply for a benefit are LEP persons. In  addition, in some cases where there are few LEP persons in the  immediate geographic area, affirmative marketing may require  marketing to residents of adjoining areas, communities, or  neighborhoods (24 CFR 200.625, 24 CFR 92.351, 903.2(d)(1) and (2)).     The programs of many recipients require public meetings and  input (24 CFR 91, subpart B; 24 CFR 903.13 (a); 24 CFR, part 964).  Even within the large geographic area covered by a city government,  certain target areas may have concentrations of LEP persons. These  persons may be those who might be most affected by the issue being  discussed.     In addition, some programs are specifically targeted to reach a  particular audience (e.g., persons with HIV, the elderly, residents  of high crime areas, persons with disabilities, and minority  communities). In some communities, these populations may  disproportionately be LEP persons.     Factor (2): Frequency of contact should be considered in light  of the specific program or the geographic area being served. Some  education programs or complaint processing may only require a single  or limited interaction with each LEP individual served. Housing,  counseling, and supportive services programs require on-going  communication. In the former case, the type and extent of LEP  services may be of shorter duration, even for a greater number of  LEP persons, than in the latter case and decisions must be made  accordingly.  Factor (3): Importance of Service/Information/Program/Activity      Given the critical role housing plays in maintaining quality of  life, housing and complementary housing services rank high on the  critical/non-critical continuum. However, this does not mean that  all services and activities provided by HUD recipients must be  equally accessible in languages other than English. For example,  while clearly important to the quality of life in the community,  certain recreational programs provided by a HUD recipient may not  require the same level of interpretive services as does the  recipient's underlying housing service. Nevertheless, the need for  language services with respect to these programs should be  considered in applying the four-factor analysis.  Factor (4): Costs vs. Resources and Benefits      The final factor that must be taken into account is the cost of  providing various services as opposed to the resources available to  the HUD recipient providing the service.     Type of Program: There are some programs for which translation  and interpretation are an integral part of the funded program such  that services should be provided in some way to any client that  requires them. In important programs or activities (i.e., tenant  selection and assignment, homeownership counseling, fair housing  complaint intake, conflict resolution between tenant and landlords,  etc.) that require one-on-one contact with clients, written  translation and verbal interpretation services should be provided  consistent with the four-factor analysis used earlier. Recipients  could have competent bilingual or multilingual employees or  community translators or interpreters to communicate with LEP  persons in languages prevalent in the community. In some instances,  a recipient may have to contract or negotiate with other agencies  for services for LEP persons.     Outreach: Affirmative marketing activities, as described above,  require, at a minimum, written materials in other languages (24 CFR  200.625, 24 CFR 92.351, 24 CFR 903.2 (d)(1) and (2)). As with  counseling, affirmative marketing in large LEP communities could be  fruitless without translation of outreach materials. Preferably,  outreach workers would speak the language of the people to whom they  are marketing.     Size of Program: A major issue for deciding on the extent of  translation/interpretation services is the size of the program. A  large public housing agency (PHA) may be expected to have  multilingual employees representing the LEP persons who may reside  in the communities they serve. These employees may be involved in  all activities: affirmative marketing, taking and verifying  applications, counseling, explaining leases, holding tenant  meetings, and on-going tenant contact, as well as translating  documents into applicable languages. Similarly, a funded recipient  receiving millions of dollars in CDBG Program money may be expected  to provide translation/interpretation services in major local  languages and have bilingual staff in those languages. Recipients  with limited resources (i.e., PHAs with a small number of units, or  small nonprofit organizations) should not be expected to provide the  same level and comprehensiveness of services to the LEP population,  but should consider reasonable steps, under the four-factor  analysis, they can take in order to provide meaningful access.     Relevance of Activity to the Program: A program with monthly  information sessions in a community with many LEP persons speaking  the same language should consider employing a bilingual employee who  can hold these sessions in the LEP language. Alternatively, if a  community's major LEP language does not have many applicants for the  program, having an interpreter at sessions only when needed may be  sufficient. (For example, the program could announce in major  languages in any public notice of the meeting that anyone in need of  an interpreter should call a certain number before the  [[Page 70979]]  meeting to request one--and ensure that someone at that number can  communicate with the person.)     Availability/Costs of Services: In a community with very few LEP  persons speaking a particular language, interpretation/translation  into a specific language and a HUD recipient with very few  resources, the provision of service should be targeted at the most  important activities. Recipients may decide, as appropriate, to  provide those services through agreements with competent translators  and interpreters in community-based organizations or through  telephonic interpretation services.     Services Provided: HUD recipients have a variety of options for  providing language services. Under certain circumstances, when  interpreters are required and recipients should provide competent  interpreter services free of cost to the LEP person, LEP persons  should be advised that they may choose either to use a competent  interpreter provided free by the recipient or, at their own expense,  secure the assistance of an interpreter of their own choosing. If  the LEP person decides to provide his or her own interpreter, the  provision of this choice to the LEP person and the LEP person's  election should be documented in any written record generated with  respect to the LEP person. Although LEP persons may sometimes look  to bilingual family members or friends or other persons with whom  they are comfortable for language assistance, there are many  situations where an LEP person might want to rely upon recipient- supplied interpretative services. Family and friends may not be  available when and where they are needed, or they may not have the  ability to interpret program-specific technical information.  Alternatively, an individual may feel uncomfortable revealing or  describing sensitive, confidential, or potentially embarrassing  medical, family, or financial information to a family member,  friend, or member of the local community.     Similarly, there may be situations where a HUD recipient's own  interests justify program provision of an interpreter regardless of  whether the LEP individual also provides his or her own interpreter.  For example, where precise, complete, and accurate interpretation of  information is critical for lease enforcement, or at group meetings  dealing with vital issues, such as pending displacement, a recipient  might provide its own, independent interpreters, regardless of what  recipients choose. This should ensure that information has been  interpreted completely and is legally accurate.     In emergency situations that are not reasonably foreseeable, the  recipient may have to rely temporarily on non-professional language  services. However, reliance on children is especially discouraged  unless there is an extreme emergency and no language proficient  adults are available.     While all language services need to be competent, the greater  the potential consequences, the greater the need to monitor  interpretation services for quality. For example, it is important  that interpreters of legal concepts be highly competent to translate  legal and lease enforcement concepts as well as be extremely  accurate in their interpretation when discussing relocation and  displacement issues. It may be sufficient, however, for a desk clerk  who is fully bilingual, but not skilled at interpreting, to help an  LEP person complete an application in the language the LEP person  and bilingual person have in common.  Applying the Four-Factor Analysis      While all beneficiaries are important, the four-factor analysis  requires prioritizing so that language services are targeted where  most needed because of the nature and importance of the particular  activity involved in relation to the costs of providing the service.     This section provides examples of promising practices in which  recipients may engage. Grantees or funded recipients are responsible  for ensuring meaningful access to all portions of their program or  activity, not just the portions to which HUD funds are targeted. So  long as the language services are accurate, timely, and appropriate  in the manner outlined in this guidance, the types of promising  practices summarized below can assist recipients in meeting the  meaningful access requirements of Title VI and the Title VI  regulations.  Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity      The Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP): FHAP provides funds  to state and local agencies that administer fair housing laws that  are substantially equivalent to the federal Fair Housing Act.     A local FHAP serves a small metropolitan area that has a  population that is 3 percent Korean speaking, 25 percent Spanish- speaking, and 72 percent English speaking. One of the FHAP agency's  primary responsibilities is to process fair housing discrimination  complaints. The FHAP office has many Hispanic complainants who are  LEP and Spanish-speaking; therefore, it has hired a Hispanic intake  clerk who is bilingual in Spanish and English. The Fair Housing  Poster and the complaint form have been translated into Spanish. The  office has a contract with a nonprofit Hispanic organization for  interpreters on an as-needed basis its education and outreach  activities to the Hispanic community. FHAP organizations are small  and have limited resources. In competing for the available  resources, the FHAP chose not to translate the material into the  language of the Korean population this year. However, it has plans  to translate material into the Korean language in coming years to  address the accessibility needs of the LEP population.     The Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP): FHIP assists fair  housing activities that increase compliance with the Fair Housing  Act and with the substantially equivalent fair housing laws  administered by state and local government agencies under the Fair  Housing Assistance Program (FHAP). FHIP awards funds competitively,  and these funds enable the recipients to carry out activities to  educate and inform the public and housing providers of their fair  housing rights and responsibilities.     A community organization in a large metropolitan area had  received FHIP funds to develop an education curriculum to assist  newly arrived immigrants. Data showed that non-English speaking  persons were having difficulty in applying and securing housing in  the area. The organization had identified a large Hispanic clientele  in the area that needed this service. It had a well-developed  program for this LEP population. However, the community's population  was changing. The recipient found that there was also a large  community of recent immigrants from Cambodia who were also in need  of language services. To address this need, the FHIP partnered with  Asian Action Network, a community-based social service agency, to  translate materials and to present free seminars at the local public  library. In addition, if needed, the Asian Action Network had on its  staff a Cambodian-speaking counselor who was able to provide  interpretation services.  Office of Public and Indian Housing      HOPE VI: The HOPE VI Revitalization of Distressed Public Housing  Program provides revitalization and demolition-only grants on a  competitive basis for eligible PHAs that operate public housing  units. During the HOPE VI lifecycle, PHAs are required to  communicate with all tenants, including LEP tenants, through  informational meetings that describe both the proposed project and  the rights of the tenants during every stage of the application and  implementation process. All residents need to be educated about both  the HOPE VI project, and their right to be relocated into decent,  safe and sanitary housing, and how they can return to the new  project once it is completed.     A PHA is planning to demolish a 400-unit public housing project  and construct a 375-unit HOPE VI mixed-finance development and other  amenities on the site. The 400-unit building is still occupied by a  tenant population of which 55 percent are Spanish-speaking families.  For a number of years, the PHA had in place bilingual employees in  its occupancy office, as well as leases and other written documents  translated into Spanish. Under the new requirements, the PHA now  needs to translate public notices and other documents into Spanish,  since many of the families are newly arrived immigrants from Latin  America.     Public Housing: There are approximately 3,400 PHAs in the United  States that provide a majority of the housing to low and very low- income families. For example, a PHA in a large metropolitan area has  Hispanic, Chinese, and Vietnamese tenants. All tenants sign a lease  before they can live in public housing. The lease details the rules  and requirements that the PHA and tenants must follow and ensures  that the PHA and tenants are provided all the protections to which  they are entitled. Additionally, the written lease ensures that all  tenants are treated fairly. The PHA makes every effort to ensure  that tenants understand the rules and requirements. The PHA has its  lease and rental notices translated into Spanish, Chinese, and  Vietnamese and it has a procedure to access interpreters for these  languages if oral discussions of the lease are necessary.     Housing Choice Voucher Program: The Housing Choice Voucher  Program is the  [[Page 70980]]  federal government's major program for assisting very low-income  families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and  sanitary housing in the private market.     For example, a PHA administers a Housing Choice Voucher Program  and has recently received an additional 100 vouchers. The PHA  affirmatively markets the availability of the housing choice  vouchers to all families living in its jurisdiction. It places a  public service announcement in English, Spanish, Chinese, or  Vietnamese in the local general circulation, Spanish, Chinese, or  Vietnamese newspapers and radio and TV stations, as applicable.  Office of Community Planning and Development      Consolidated Plan: Consolidated Planning is a strategy for  holistic community planning. Each community's Consolidated Plan is  built upon public participation and input. When planning the  required public hearings, jurisdictions must also identify how the  needs of LEP residents will be met in the case of public hearings  where a significant number of LEP residents can be reasonably  expected to participate (24 CFR 91, Subpart B, ``Citizen  Participation and Consultation''). Other activities surrounding  public hearings should also be made available to persons with LEP,  such as (a) publication of translated notification of the public  hearings, and (b) translation of draft and final action and  consolidated plans and dissemination of these documents to persons  and appropriate organizations in the LEP community.     The State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is  designed to assist small communities and rural areas in funding a  wide variety of activities intended to promote community economic  development. In the State CDBG program, HUD makes grants to states,  which then distribute funds to units of general local government.     All eligible activities in the State CDBG program must meet one  of three statutory objectives specified in the CDBG authorizing  legislation: principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons,  aid in the prevention of elimination of slums or blight, or meet  other community development needs having a particular urgency.     State CDBG grant recipients are encouraged to reach out to LEP  persons through local alternative language newspapers. In addition,  expenses associated with providing interpretive services to LEP  persons may be considered program delivery or administration costs  and, therefore, may be paid with CDBG funds. For instance, one state  CDBG grant recipient chooses to provide case management services to  homeless families and individuals, and allocates part of these funds  to provide advocacy and interpretative services for LEP persons.     Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA): HOPWA is a  tenant-based rental voucher program specifically designed for  persons who are HIV positive or who have AIDS. A major city has been  operating services affecting persons with AIDS and such services  have been an integral part of its Consolidated Plan. However, it  recently learned from a national study that 20 percent of its 2,000  HIV-infected persons are LEP persons. The city previously had not  contacted these people about their needs. In formulating its  Consolidated Plan, the city's Community Development Department  contacted both the Department of Health and the city's leading AIDS- related service provider for assistance in reaching out to this  population. The city offered to allocate additional sums from its  HOPWA formula grant to fund bilingual interpreters and health  outreach workers who would contact the LEP persons living with HIV  and minister to their housing-related needs. Also, as part of its  citizen participation plan, the city offered to conduct a  multilingual meeting at which institutions involved in AIDS-related  housing and services would participate.     HOME Investment Partnership Program: In general, under the HOME  Investment Partnerships Program, HUD allocates funds by formula  among eligible state and local governments to strengthen public- private partnerships and to expand the supply of decent, safe,  sanitary, and affordable housing. Families, including LEP families,  may obtain homeownership and rental housing opportunities from  participating jurisdictions (PJs). Under the program requirements,  PJs are required to implement affirmative marketing strategies,  under which they identify groups within the eligible population that  are least likely to apply and conduct special outreach efforts  through advertising in local media, including media targeted at LEP  citizens (24 CFR 92.351).     A small HOME participating jurisdiction is using its HOME funds  to implement a tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) program. Under  TBRA, the assisted tenant may move from a dwelling unit, but retains  the right to continued assistance. The TBRA assistance also includes  the security deposit. The HOME PJ, as part of its affirmative  marketing strategy, has submitted advertising to the local Spanish  language newspapers and radio station that serve the community's  small but growing Hispanic population. Since the costs of  implementing the affirmative marketing strategy are eligible costs  under the program regulations, the PJ is increasing its budget to  train occupancy staff to address issues faced by LEP applicants and  to hire a bilingual staff member.  Office of Housing      Single-Family Housing Counseling Program: HUD provides funds to  housing counseling agencies that assist persons and families in  specific geographic areas to enable them to buy homes and to keep  homes they already have purchased. This requires one-on-one and  group counseling on home-selection skills, understanding mortgages,  understanding legal ramifications of various documents, establishing  a budget, housekeeping and maintenance skills, understanding fair  housing rights, etc.     In a majority-Hispanic community, La Casa has been the only HUD- funded counseling agency, providing these services for many years.  It has bilingual staff to serve the largely Hispanic population.  Frequently clients from a neighboring low-income community, which is  primarily African-American, also uses its services, since the agency  is well-known in the area. However, over the past few years, many  low-income Iranians have been moving into the neighboring community.  A housing counseling agency is required to provide one-on-one  counseling services as the nature of its program. It is also  required to outreach to those potential beneficiaries who are least  likely to apply for its services. As a relatively small agency, La  Casa should employ at least one person or have regular access to a  person who can interpret between English and Farsi. This person  should be visiting the Iranian communities, and contacting and  working through the local agencies to affirmatively market La Casa's  program. This person should also arrange to get key materials  translated and provide counseling and interpretation services, as  needed.     Supportive Housing for the Elderly: The Section 202 Supportive  Housing for the Elderly Program funds the construction of  multifamily projects that serve elderly persons. Project sponsors  are required to affirmatively market their services and housing  opportunities to those segments of the elderly population that are  identified as least likely to apply for the housing without special  outreach. Even more importantly, many LEP elderly may require care  from bilingual medical or support services staff, and recipients may  devote considerable financial and other resources to provide such  assistance.     The sponsor of a Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly  project identifies in its Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan  the city's large numbers of East and South Asian immigrants as least  likely to apply for the new housing without special outreach. After  examining census and other data and consulting with the city's  Office of Immigrant Affairs, the sponsor learns that the 1,000 of  the 5,000 South and East Asian families have at least one elderly  relative that may be eligible for the new units. The sponsor hires  translators fluent in Hindi, Urdu, Dari, Vietnamese, and Chinese to  translate written materials and advertising for the local press in  those languages. The recipient also partners with community-based  organizations that serve the city's East and South Asian immigrants  to arrange for interpreters at meetings.  [FR Doc. 03-31267 Filed 12-18-03; 8:45 am]  BILLING CODE 4210-28-P 
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Updated August 6, 2015

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