Language Access Plan

 

Housing Department

Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

 

 

Language Assistance Plan (LAP)

For Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Persons

Revised January, 2021

 

 

Final Guidance

Final Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons. (72 FR 2732)

“The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is publishing the final ‘Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient (LEP) Persons’ (Guidance) as required by Executive Order (EO) 13166. EO 13166 directs federal agencies that extend assistance, subject to the requirements of Title VI, to publish Guidance to clarify recipients’ obligations to LEP persons. This final Guidance follows publication of the proposed Guidance on December 19, 2003.’” Effective February 21, 2007 (72 FR 2731).

Introduction

As published in the Federal Register on January 22, 2007, “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 7 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.’ According to the US Census ACS, 25% of all Spanish and 39% Chinese speakers in Santa Clara County reported that they spoke English ‘not well’ or ‘not at all’: over half of all Vietnamese-speakers said they speak English ‘not well’ or  ‘at all.’

HUD follows basic principles to ensure that LEP individuals have access to housing programs. “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 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 requirements on small businesses, small local governments, or small non-profit entities that receive federal financial assistance” (72 FR 2738).

This report outlines how the Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA) provides language assistance to ensure that all persons have access to the agency’s programs and activities.

Definitions

Limited English Proficiency person: Any person who does not speak English as their primary language and who has a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English. Such person

 

or persons shall be entitled to language assistance at no cost to themselves with respect to a particular type of service, benefit, or encounter. This is based on the client’s assessment.

Vital document:  .Any document that contains information that is critical for obtaining or maintaining the services or benefits that are supported by federal funds, or that are required by law. Such documents may include, but are not limited to applications, consent forms, notices of participant rights and responsibilities, disciplinary notices, letters or notices that require a response from the participant or beneficiary, legal notices, and notices advising LEP persons of the availability of free language services.

Interpretation: The act of listening to spoken words in one language (the source) and orally translating it into another language (the target).

Translation: The transcription of a written text from one language into an equivalent written text in another language. Note: Some LEP persons cannot read in their own language and oral interpretation services may be needed for written documents.

Four-Factor Analysis: Housing authorities are required to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to LEP persons. This standard is intended to be flexible and fact-dependent. It is also intended to balance meaningful access to critical services while not imposing undue financial burdens on small businesses, small local governments, or small nonprofit organizations.

HUD Recipient: Federally-assisted agencies receiving HUD funding. In this document,

“recipient” refers to SCCHA.

 

Legal Authority

“This HUD policy is thus published pursuant to Title VI, Title VI regulations, and Executive Order 13166. It is consistent with the final DOJ ‘Guidance to Federal Financial Recipients regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons,’” published on June 18, 2002 (67 FR 4145).

Who is Covered?

“Pursuant to Executive Order 13166, the meaningful access requirement of the Title VI regulations and the four-factor analysis set forth in the LEP Guidance are to additionally apply to the programs and activities of federal agencies … Recipients of HUD assistance include, for example:

  • State and local governments;
  • Public housing agencies;
  • Assisted housing providers” (72 FR 2739).

 

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 limited English proficient, or ‘LEP,’ and may be 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 serviced by HUD recipients and should be considered when planning language services, but are not limited to:

Persons who are seeking housing assistance from a public housing agency or assisted

housing provider or are current tenants in such housing” (72 FR 2740).

 

Four-Factor Analysis

HUD provides a four-factor analysis as a framework to identify LEP persons who need language services and to what extent. Data from this analysis enables SCCHA to evaluate which languages require document translation services, in addition to interpretation services, and which languages require only interpretation services, because they fall below the HUD threshold. With this insight, this LAP explains SCCHA’s language assistance measures, staff training and agency monitoring.

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.

Recipients of HUD funds are required by existing regulations to outreach, educate, and affirmatively market the availability of housing and housing-related services to eligible persons in the geographic area that are least likely to apply for and/or receive the benefit of the program without such outreach and education activities and/or affirmative marketing” (72 FR 2748).

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. In contrast, housing, counseling, and housing supportive services programs require ongoing 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. Therefore, decisions must be made accordingly” (72 FR 2748).

 

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 recipients of HUD 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-funded 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” (FR 72 2748).

Factor 4:

Costs vs. Resources and Benefit. The final factor that must be taken into account is the cost of providing various services balanced against the resources available to the HUD-funded recipient providing the service” (FR 72 2748). Financial considerations include the type of program. “There are some programs for which translation and interpretations are such an integral part of the funded program that services would be provided in some way to any client that requires them. In important programs or activities (e.g., tenant selection and assignment … fair housing complaint intake, conflict resolution between tenants and landlords, etc.) that require one-on- one contact, oral and written translations would be provided consistent with the four-factor analysis used earlier. Recipients could have competent bi-or multilingual employees, 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 language services for LEP persons” (FR 72 2748).

LAP Elements

(Indicated by p)

 

p Identifying LEP Individuals Who Need Language Assistance

Santa Clara County is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse counties in the United States. According to the 2014-2018 American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, 55.1% of residents between 18 and 64 years of age in Santa Clara County speak a language other than English at home. SCCHA serves low-income county residents with limited English proficiencies that require a translator to utilize the agency’s services.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandates the written translation of all required forms for certain linguistic groups of clients, based on their demographic representation in the area being served. The criteria determining the need for translated vital documents is as follows:

 

Table 1. Criteria determining the need for translated vital documents

Size of language group

Recommended provision of written language assistance

1,000 or more in the eligible population in the market area or among current beneficiaries

Translated vital documents

More than 5% of the eligible population or beneficiaries and more than 50 in number

Translated vital documents

More than 5% of the eligible population or beneficiaries and 50 or less in number

Translated written notice of right to receive free oral interpretation of documents.

5% or less of the eligible population or beneficiaries and less than 1,000 in number

No written translation is required.

Source: Federal Register, January 22, 2007 (2753)

 

SCCHA ANALYSIS:

There are 1,922,200 persons in Santa Clara County, according to the most current data from the US Census American Community Survey (ACS). Many of these people come from non-English speaking countries, or are descendants of people from such countries. As Table 2 below indicates, at 132,669 persons, persons of Vietnamese descent comprise almost 7% of Santa Clara County’s population.  Persons of Chinese descent are 10% of the County’s population, or 193,928 out of a total of 1,922,200 persons. While Hispanic\Latino is an ethnicity and not a nationality, for purposes of comparison, we included this category of persons in the table below:

 

Table 2. Persons by select nationalities with non-English languages, including persons of Hispanic/Latino descent: Santa Clara County

Nationalities\Ethnicity

Number

Percentage of County population when more than one percent

Chinese

193,928

10.1%

Vietnamese

132,669

6.9%

Hispanic/Latino

495,455

25.8%

Filipino

91,408

4.8%

Indian

175,335

9.1%

Korean

28,994

1.5%

Source: US Census ACS 5-Year 2014-2018 Annual Average, Tables B02015 (Asian alone By Selected Groups) and DP05 (Demographic and Housing Estimates)

 

 

While the table above identified the total number of persons by select nationality\ethnicity, the table below identifies how many persons in these categories speak English well or not well. Thus, of the 132,669 persons of Vietnamese descent in Santa Clara County, 116,654 are at least 5 years and, of these 72,173 do not speak English well.  As a percent of the total, 54% of persons of Vietnamese descent in Santa Clara County do not speak English well or at all.

 

Table 3. Persons who speak English well and not well: persons by select nationalities with non-English languages, including persons of Hispanic/Latino descent: Santa Clara County

 

Total

Sub-Total: Nos. of persons 5 year and older

Speaks English well

Does not speak English well

Does not speak English well as percent of total

Chinese

193,928

158,894

83,191

75,703

39%

Vietnamese

132,669

116,654

44,481

72,173

54%

Hispanic/Latino

495,455

320,535

196,209

124,326

25%

Filipino

91,408

55,391

34,652

20,739

23%

Indian

175,335

120,939

95,621

25,318

14%

Korean

28,994

22,795

12,226

10,569

36%

Source: US Census ACS 5-Year 2014-2018 Tables B02015 (Asian alone By Selected Groups), DP05 (Demographic and Housing Estimates), and C16001 (Language Spoken At Home).

 

The following table includes data on the poverty status of persons who speak their native language at home.  In Santa Clara County, there are 320,535 persons five years and older who speak Spanish in their homes, and, of these, 39,807 are in households with incomes below the poverty line.  At 12.4 %, the poverty rate of persons who speak Spanish at home is four percentage points higher than the overall countywide poverty rate of 8.0%, underscoring the point that limited English-speaking abilities affects this community especially hard.  In contrasts, the 8.4% poverty rate for persons who speak Asian\Pacific Islander languages at home is similar to the overall countywide rate of 8.0%, suggesting that, unlike the situation for Hispanics\Latinos in poverty, any number of factors including limited English-speaking ability equally contribute to Asian\Pacific Islander poverty.   

 

Table 4. Poverty Status of Persons who speak English well and not well: Santa Clara County

 

Total Number of Persons 5 and Over

Total Number of Persons 5 and Over: In Poverty: Speaks At Home

Overall Poverty Rate By Language Spoken At Home

Distribution of Total Number of Persons 5 and Over

Distribution of Persons in Poverty Who Speak Language Other Than English at Home

Santa Clara County

1,803,512

144,212

8.0%

 

 

Spanish

320,535

39,807

12.4%

17.8%

27.6%

Asian and Pacific Island languages

441,188

36,897

8.4%

24.5%

25.6%

Other Indo-European languages

162,365

8,513

5.2%

9.0%

5.9%

Other languages

24,086

1,788

7.4%

1.3%

1.2%

Source: US Census ACS 5-Year 2014-2018 Tables B02015 (Asian alone By Selected Groups), DP05 (Demographic and Housing Estimates), and C16001 (Language Spoken At Home).

 

The table above shows another way that Spanish-speaking persons are especially affected by limited English-speaking abilities: while persons five years and above who primarily speak Spanish at home are 17.8% of all persons five and over in the County, Spanish-speaking persons in poverty are 27.6% of all persons (five and over) in poverty.  In other words, Spanish-speaking persons are a significantly larger share of the total number of persons in poverty relative to their overall numbers across all income categories.  Poverty level, as defined by the census, is primarily below SCCHA’s income eligibility definition of “extremely low” (30% of median household income).

 

If SCCHA considers the service area of Santa Clara County and the potential clients with qualifying low incomes, it is clear from the tables above that translation services are needed for all Spanish and Vietnamese language client vital documents. In SCCHA’s Elite database, program participants are tracked by their language proficiencies. In a SCCHA report generated from the database on August 4, 2020, 3,599 participants reported Vietnamese as their primary language instead of English, and 532 reported Spanish as their primary language. Therefore, vital Vietnamese language client documents must also be translated. Although current numbers of participants who speak Spanish as their primary language do not trigger written translations of vital documents, SCCHA management has requested that all vital client documents be translated into Spanish since 2005 when a four-factor analysis completed at the time indicated that the number of Spanish-speaking program participants was high enough to require vital document translation.  And, the Agency wants to continue to provide this service to Spanish-speaking participants.

 

Other language preferences captured in the database include Mandarin (231), Russian (193), Farsi (65), and Korean (81). Mandarin, Russian, Farsi and Korean speakers each make up less than 5% of HACSC’s total number of participants and are each less than 1,000 in number.  Therefore, these languages would not require vital document translations at this time. LEP individuals would receive telephone or in-person interpretation services for these languages for all vital written Agency documents, as well as for conversational communications between Agency staff and participants.

 

 

Table 5. Language preferences > (Elite 8-4-20) but less than 5% of eligible population

 

No written translation is required phone/in-person interpretation available

Participant

 

Count

Cambodian

77

Cantonese

72

Farsi

65

Korean

81

Mandarin

231

Russian

193

Languages requiring translated vital documents

 

Spanish

532

Vietnamese

3,599

Total SCCHA participants tracked

17,452

Source: SCCHA, Excel Reports (8-4-2020)

 

Based on this data, SCCHA is required to have vital document translations for Spanish (1,000 or more of the eligible population) and Vietnamese. Even though six of the language preferences in the database have a count above 50, they do not meet the 5% threshold. Therefore, SCCHA is only required to continue to provide vital document translations for Spanish and Vietnamese.

By comparison, language preference demographics for CalWORKs is outlined below. The primary languages spoken reflect the Census ACS 2014-2018 five-year annual average with English, Spanish and Vietnamese representing the largest language groups. CalWORKs demographics also mirror the translation requests at SCCHA. One notable difference is that CalWORKs lists the Spanish language group as much greater than the Vietnamese language group (Table 6). SCCHA has significantly more requests for Vietnamese translations and interpretations than for Spanish. Regardless of this order, both languages require translated vital documents for SCCHA participants and applicants.

 

Table 6. CalWORKS demographics countywide by language: 2019 Annual Average

Participant

 

Count

English

  8,412

Spanish

2,736

Vietnamese

279

Farsi

45

Arabic

43

Other languages

136

Total participants tracked

11,650

Source: Santa Clara County DSS, "Quarterly Statistical Data of Public Assistance Families in Santa Clara County" (www.sccgov.org)

SCCHA ANALYSIS:

The Frequency with Which LEP Individuals Come in Contact With the Program

 

One way to determine frequency of contact is to look at the number of interpretation/translation services that have been provided. During the six months from July 1 to December 31, 2019, SCCHA’s contracted language services company provided phone interpretation services on 314 separate occasions (Table 7). The majority of these interpretation requests (172) were in Vietnamese, with 69 in Spanish.  On average, there are 29 requests per month for over-the-phone interpretation services involving the Vietnamese language, with each call lasting approximately 16 minutes.   Tenant training and outreach programs are conducted in Spanish and Vietnamese, which are determined by language preferences indicated on RSVPs from tenants.

 

 Table 7. Distribution of Over-the-Phone Interpretation Calls By Language

 

Total Number of Calls and Total Call Volume Over First Six Months (July 1- Dec. 31) of                                           FY 2019-2020

Average Monthly Number of Calls and Average Monthly Call Volume Over First Six Months (July 1 - Dec. 30) of                       FY 2019-2020

Distribution of Average Monthly Number of Calls and Average Monthly Call Volume Over First Six Months (July 1 - Dec. 30) of      FY 2019-2020

 

Total Calls

Total Minutes

Avg. Mos. Calls

Avg. Mos.  Minutes

Avg. Mos. Calls: Distrib.

Avg. Mos.  Minutes: Distrib.

Summary

314

4,728

52

788

100%

100%

 Vietnamese

172

2,746

29

458

55%

58%

 Spanish

69

832

12

139

22%

18%

 Mandarin

20

381

3

64

6%

8%

 Cantonese

9

155

2

26

3%

3%

 Russian

11

140

2

23

4%

3%

 Farsi

8

123

1

21

3%

3%

 Arabic

5

87

1

15

2%

2%

 Korean

7

81

1

14

2%

2%

 Bosnian

5

53

1

9

2%

1%

 Cambodian

3

52

1

9

1%

1%

 Other

5

78

1

13

2%

2%

Source: SCCHA

 

 

While Vietnamese is the most-requested language when it comes to over-the-phone interpretative services, Chinese is the language into which most SCCHA documents are translated (Table 8).  Over the course of Fiscal Year 2018-2019, SCCHA received 91 document translation requests, of which 23 were for translating documents in Chinese, 10 into Spanish, and 8 into Vietnamese

 

 Table 8. Document Translation Language Trends: FY 2018-2019

 

Number of Document Translation Tasks

Distribution of Translation Tasks (only for those with known languages)

Aggregate Word Count

Distribution of Word Count (only for those with known languages)

Summary

91

100%

107,709

100%

 Chinese

23

37%

16,615

26%

 Spanish

10

16%

12,920

20%

 Vietnamese

8

13%

13,065

20%

 Russian

7

11%

11,031

17%

 Chinese-to-English

4

6%

4,411

7%

 Spanish-to-English

3

5%

3,000

5%

 Russian-to-English

3

5%

1,323

2%

 Bosnian-to-English

2

3%

750

1%

 French-to-English

1

2%

441

1%

 Korean

1

2%

375

1%

 Language not identified

29

 

43,778

 

 Source: SCCHA

 

Nature and Importance of Program or Service

Rental housing costs in Santa Clara County are among the highest in the nation. The average four-year rent increase per unit in Santa Clara County is 44.6% according to RealAnswers, an online housing data collection resource. In order to apply for or participate in subsidized housing programs offered by SCCHA, LEP persons must fill out multiple forms, understand and abide by numerous procedures and find scarce affordable housing.

p Language Assistance Measures

At this time, SCCHA is able to provide document translation services for all languages that meet HUD quantitative guidelines. Interpretation will be available, as needed for LEP persons, through designated staff and a contracted language services provider.

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 bi-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 language services for LEP persons” (FR 72 2748).

p Summarization of SCCHA’s LAP Process

Written Translations

  1. SCCHA will provide translations of its vital documents into Spanish and Vietnamese.
  2. SCCHA will obtain translations of documents submitted by a client for any language other than English.

Oral Interpretation Services

1.   All non-English speaking participants and applicants are entitled to and will be offered oral interpretation either by the in-house translator of the day or by phone through the contracted agency.

p Training Staff

SCCHA staff training will include the following:

 

  1. SCCHA’s LEP policies.
  2. Proper noticing requirements for LEP persons, including posting of signs in common areas, translations of outreach documents and stating that interpretations are available by phone.
  3. The types of language services available:
    1. In-house interpreters/translators
    2. Written translations of documents
    3. Interpretation by telephone
    4. Vendor-provided on-site interpretation for spoken and American Sign Language (ASL)
  4. How to obtain in-house interpretation/translation services.
  5. How to access language interpretation services by phone and translation of documents by email from contracted interpretation/translation service providers.
  6. How to respond to LEP callers.
  7. How to use the HUD Language-Identification “I Speak” cards.
  8. How to respond to written communication from LEP persons.
  9. How to work with LEP clients in person and with phone interpreters.
  10. How to document the use of translations/interpretations.

 

SCCHA will distribute the LAP and provide training to staff annually on how to assist a person with limited English proficiency. Additionally, the LEP plan will be part of the new staff orientation binder.

Interpretation Process

SCCHA’s protocol for accessing language services is as follows:

 

  1. The Agency will utilize certified bilingual staff to assist persons with limited English proficiency.
  2. When walk-in clients cannot communicate their language preference, staff will use the “I Speak” language identification flashcards (Exhibit 4) developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. With the language identified, staff will either utilize an in-house interpreter or call its contracted interpretation agency to request an interpreter in the designated language (Exhibit 2).
  3. When extensive interpretation is required for appointments, SCCHA advises applicants and participants to request the free language interpretation service at least three days in advance of the meeting. This would allow time to schedule in-house interpreters to meet with the client during their scheduled appointment.
  4. When bilingual employees are not available to assist with language needs, staff may access the contracted language interpretation agency to provide phone interpretation for clients.
  5. If the oral interpretation is for an informal hearing, the caller must inform the contracted agency that the interpretation will be for an informal hearing.
  6. The participant or applicant may choose to refuse SCCHA -provided interpretation and provide their own interpreter, with the exception of an informal hearing. An agency- provided interpreter must be provided for informal hearings.
  7. Staff must never require, suggest, or encourage a person with limited English proficiency to use family members or friends as interpreters. At no time will persons under the age of 18 (if their age is known) be utilized to provide interpretive services.
  8. Staff must note in Elite notes any time they offered and provided a participant or applicant interpretation services.
  9. If a person has refused interpretation services, SCCHA employees need to note in Elite that the participant/applicant was offered interpretation services and note that they refused the service or provided their own interpreter, if this occurs.

Translation Process

The Housing Authority will translate vital written documents into the language of each qualifying LEP group eligible to be served and/or likely to be affected by the program. Vital documents are written materials that contain awareness of rights or services to the programs that are translated to assist a person with LEP.

  1. If an employee believes that a SCCHA letter or form needs to be translated, they must request a translation from their immediate supervisor.
  2. The supervisor will forward the document to Policy Unit, who will determine if the document is vital, thus requiring translation into Spanish and Vietnamese. The designated Policy employee would order the translation from its contracted translator. The translated documents shall be ordered to be translated using the same format as the English version.
  3. Once the translated document has been reviewed and approved internally by the designated staff for Spanish and Vietnamese translations, the designated Policy employee will upload the final translated form to F:\Current SCCHA Forms, then stored in either “In- House Spanish” or “In-House Vietnamese” or uploaded as a multi-lingual letter into Elite. An all-staff email will then be sent out notifying staff of the uploaded translated documents.
  4. If a household has identified that their language preference is Spanish or Vietnamese and a Spanish/Vietnamese version of a letter or form is available, the family must be sent both the English and alternative language version of the letter/form and both versions must be included in the file for scanning to demonstrate that the family received both versions. For documents requiring signature, it is preferable to have both English and alternative language form signed; however, it will not be an audit finding if only the English form is signed.
  5. If a client writes a letter or sends a document to the Housing Authority in a language other than English, the employee who receives the letter will attempt to use in-house translators to provide an English translation of the letter, if possible. If SCCHA does not have a translator in the written language, the employee will forward the letter to the designated staff member, who will submit the document to the agency’s contracted translator for translation.

 

p Providing Notice to LEP Persons

SCCHA will take the following steps to educate the LEP group of the free language services

 

  1. Use of the “I Speak” language identification flashcards, when necessary.
  2. Notify applicants and participants of the availability of free language services on the website.
  3. Include notice of free language services in public notices published in area newspapers in Spanish and Vietnamese.
  4. Posting signs outlining translation/interpretation services in lobby area.
  5. If a client feels that they have been denied proper language interpretation/translations, they may request these services from their Housing Specialist. If they are not satisfied with the solution offered by the Housing Specialist, they may contact the assigned Supervisor. If the Supervisor does not provide satisfactory results, they may contact the assigned Manager. The assigned Assistant Director may be contacted if all of the previously mentioned staff members have not resolved this issue with the LEP person.

p Monitoring and Updating the LAP

SCCHA will conduct a needs assessment every three years to determine whether changes to the LAP are required. The following methodology will be utilized to measure the needs of people with limited English proficiency.

  1. Review and evaluate the translation invoices from the contracted language service contractor to determine if interpretation and translation requests are made for languages other than the Vietnamese and Spanish, numbering more than 5% of the eligible population (800) and more than 50 in number. If this occurs, the languages meeting these criteria would require translated vital documents.
  2. Staff interpreters will keep track of categorized language interpretations requested.
  3. Incorporate “language spoken” on the waiting list form, personal declaration and

continued eligibility forms to identify the language preferences of LEP groups.

  1. Obtain and review an annual report of requested translated and interpreted languages from the designated language services contractor.
  2. Have SCCHA’s internal translators review all vital forms in their assigned language for accuracy and to ensure that the latest version is currently in use. These documents will be updated with review approval dates in the document footers.
  3. Maintain digital folders, organized by language, for all vital documents in a shared drive.
  4. Check with Managers and Supervisors biannually to receive recommendations for additional forms that require translation. (See Exhibit 3 for a list of current and planned translated documents.)

 

Exhibit 1: Obtaining an Interpreter or Translations

Check the rotation schedule for in-house interpreters and translators. How to call interpreters at Interpreters Unlimited

Instructions for Obtaining Interpretation and Translation Services

    The Santa Clara County Housing Authority has entered in a contract with Interpreters Unlimited, who will handle all of our telephonic and on-site interpretations for persons speaking languages other than English and written translations of documents into our current Limited English Proficiency languages (Spanish and Vietnamese).

 

Please follow these instructions for obtaining A. Telephonic Interpretation Services; B. Written Translations; or C. On-Site Interpretation Services.

 

A. Telephonic Interpretations

 

  1. To reach an interpreter, dial 1-855-461-0288.  A live operator from Interpreters Unlimited will ask you to respond to each of the following questions: 
    1. “What is your First and Last Name?”
    2. “Is this interpretation for a client under the . . .”
      1. “Regular Voucher Program (includes CHDR, SNDR, Enhanced and non-VASH PBV programs)?”; or
      2. “Special Programs (Mod Rehab, Mainstream, VASH, FUP and NED)?”; or,
      3. “None of These  (Unknown or not associated with either the regular voucher program or any of the Special Programs)?”
    3. “For which language are you seeking an interpreter?”

 

  1. Follow these instructions on how to work with an interpreter over the telephone:

 

  1. Speak in short phrases, punctuated with pauses, to facilitate the interpretation.
  2. One question at a time, please.
  3. Use simple language - always avoid slang, acronyms and HUD terminology, if possible.
  4. Be prepared to explain complex terms when necessary.
  5. Only say things that need to be interpreted – avoid anything else.
  6. Let the interpreter stop you to ask a clarifying question.
  7. Let the interpreter repeat back to you all critical information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.  Written Translations* (Operations staff will deposit documents needing translations to the mail slots for Spanish, Vietnamese and Other Languages. Assigned Administrative Assistant for Operations will follow the instructions below to request written translations.)

 

  1. Email the documents you need translated to translations@interpreters.com.  Advise what languages you want the documents translated.

 

  1. Documents can also be uploaded to this cloud-based site:  https://bit.ly/2VdjAw2

 

  1. You will receive a quote which you must approve before they will proceed. SCCHA will be invoiced for each translation job after we have received the completed translation.

 

* 12 cents per word per language; no minimum word count.

 

  1.  

 

  1. Send on-site interpretation requests for spoken and American Sign Language (ASL) to YourTeam@interpreters.com .

 

  1. On the subject line of the email, please include the date, time and language of the request.

 

  1. When requesting an onsite interpreter please provide the following information in the body of the email:

 

  1. Time and Date when Onsite Interpreter is needed
  2. Approximate Duration of Assignment
  3. Onsite contact (who should the interpreter ask for from SCCHA upon arrival)
  4. Exact Location where interpreter is needed (organization name, street address, city, state and zip code)
  5. Reference Name or Case # (provide last name of client and entity ID)***
  6. Language Required

 

  1. Interpreters Unlimited, Inc. will acknowledge your request within 2 hours and will send you a confirmation of your order within 24 hours or notify you about the status of your request.

 

  1. If you are having trouble getting a response within the indicated timelines, email Angela Casarrubias, who oversees the Scheduling Department. Her email is Angela.Casarrubias@interpreters.com.

 

** All languages except Spanish (including ASL) are $75 per hour with a 2-hour minimum. Spanish is $50 per hour with a 2-hour minimum.

*** This information is necessary for billing purposes

 

Interpreters are available for Informal Hearings

  1. For Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons, interpretation will be available during informal hearings at SCCHA. The Housing Specialist assigned to the participant or applicant is responsible for determining that interpretation is required based on the language preference indicated in Elite, or the written or verbal request from the client.
  2. SCCHA must provide a certified interpreter even though the participant or applicant wishes to bring someone, over 18 years old, to interpret for them.
  3. The Housing Specialist will schedule the interpreter to attend the hearing.
  4. The determination letter written by the Hearing Officer will be translated into the appropriate language and provided to the participant or applicant.
 

Exhibit 2: Translated Documents

Vital Documents

The following list of documents are currently available to LEP participants in Spanish and Vietnamese as of Quarter 1 (January to March) of 2021.

 

  1. Reexamination Instruction Flyer for Families and Elderly/Disabled
  2. Reexamination Process Flyer
  3. Required Documents Flyer
  4. Reexamination for Continued Assistance Personal Declaration
  5. Initial Eligibility Personal Declaration
  6. Adult and Minor Income & Asset Form
  7. MTW Release of Information/Privacy Act Notice Form
  8. Declaration of Citizenship/Legal Immigration Status Forms for Adults and Minors
  9. Statement of Non-Contention of Legal Immigration Status
  10. Consent Form for Release of Sex Offender Registry and Criminal Background
  11. Continued Eligibility Criminal and Sex Offender Status
  12. Application of Addition of Adult/Minor Household Member
  13. Application of Addition of Live In Aide
  14. Income Change Request Form
  15. Request to Add or Delete Household Member(s)
  16. Authorization for Release of Information from Third Parties Form
  17. Non-Discrimination/Reasonable Accommodation Information Form
  18. Reasonable Accommodation Request Form
  19. Release of Information Authorization Form
  20. Family Obligations Form
  21. HUD-52675, Debts Owed
  22. HUD-9886, Privacy Act Notice
  23. HUD-92006, Supplement to Application for Federally Assisted Housing
  24. HUD-5380, Notice of Occupancy Rights
  25. HUD-5382, VAWA Certification Form
  26. Receipt of Voucher and Notice of Investigation
  27. Waiting List Update
  28. Zero Income Statement of Fact
  29. Zero Income Checklist
  30. 40% Rule Flyer
  31. 40% Rule Flyer- Mixed Family
  32. Voucher Expiration Reminder Flyer
  33. Briefing Presentation Power Point
  34. Housing Choice Voucher Family Handbook

 

  1. Interest List Enrollment and Update Form
  2. Interest List Enrollment Denial Letter
  3. Confirmation of Interest List Enrollment and Update

 

Elite Letters

The following list of Elite letters are currently available to LEP participants in Spanish and Vietnamese as of Quarter One (January to March) of Year 2021.

 

  1. End of Participation (EOP)- Absent from Unit for 180 Days
  2. EOP- Cancellation of HAP Contract Termination
  3. EOP- Deceased Participant
  4. EOP- Did Not Attend Hearing
  5. EOP- Leaving Program Voluntarily
  6. EOP- Letter to Owner Eviction
  7. EOP- Missed Inspection Appointments
  8. EOP- Missed Reexamination Appointments
  9. EOP- Non-Compliance with VASH Program
  10. EOP- Term Limited Assistance
  11. EOP- Vacation without Notice
  12. EOP- Voucher Expired
  13. Informal Hearing Appeal Period Lapsed
  14. Informal Hearing Appointment
  15. Informal Hearing Appointment- Final
  16. Informal Hearing- Suspend Contract Termination
  17. Notice of Unlawful Detainer
  18. Reasonable Accommodation Denial or Closure
  19. Rent Calculation Explanation- Mixed Family
  20. Rent Portion Letter
  21. Rent Portion Letter- Retro Rent Adjustment
  22. Rent Portion Letter- Shared Housing
  23. Reexamination by Mail
  24. Reexamination by Mail- Final
  25. Reexamination Office Appointment
  26. Reexamination Office Appointment - Final
  27. Term Limited Assistance Expiration Notice

 

List of Non-Vital Documents

In accordance with factor 3 of the four-factor analysis, non-vital documents shall be translated when they affect “the recipient’s underlying housing service.” The following documents, translated into Vietnamese and Spanish, fall into this category.

  1. Extended Voucher Housing Search Action Plan
  2. Housing Search Guide Brochure
  3. Housing Voucher Search Form
  4. Family Self-Sufficiency Flyer
  5. Fraud Allegation Form

List of Documents Scheduled for Translation and Outreach Efforts

  1. All Elite letters/forms that are not currently translated will be translated within one year of the Language Access Plan publication date. Following that, when the Elite letters are updated in English, they will also be translated into Spanish and Vietnamese.
  2. Whenever the waiting list is open, applications, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and instructions on how to apply will be available on the website in the Language Access Plan (LAP) designated languages.
  3. Advertising will be available in the Spanish and Vietnamese newspapers and/or radio stations regarding the following occurrences:
    1. The opening of the waiting list
    2. Public hearings for the Moving to Work annual plans and reports
    3. Tenant outreach events such as a Tenant Resource Fair
  4. The website will include translated documents and web pages for important information.
  5. SCCHA’s main phone line provides messages in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. If

other languages become LAP-designated languages, this phone message will be updated accordingly.

 

Exhibit 3: ‘I Speak’ Cards