Our guest blogger today is Vang Xiong, Summer Intern in HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Based on census data, approximately 24 million people within the United States speak English ‘less than very well.’ For persons who have limited English proficiency (LEP), seeking help on housing, employment, health, child care, etc. is a daily problem. In my own community, which has been hit especially hard by the foreclosure crisis, I have seen many Hmong American families left in the dark without access to important federal programs that might help them to modify or refinance their loans. Now, thanks to HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), these Hmong families and other LEP communities may find it a little easier to access federal resources to help them.
Through the issuance of the Limited English Proficiency Notice of Funding Availability (LEPI NOFA), HUD has taken a bold step to help the limited English proficient population to gain equal access to HUD housing, programs, services, and activities.
The LEPI NOFA, issued on July 11, 2011, on www.grants.gov, will award $100,000 each to approximately 7 non-profit organizations, including grassroots, faith-based, and other community-based organizations. The funded organizations will provide assistance and information in languages native to locally targeted communities to help ensure better access to HUD programs, services, and activities. LEPI’s objectives include identifying and meeting the needs of the LEP communities in both the short and long term.
All applications must be received no later than August 22, 2011.