New York City is home to people who speak more than 200 different languages. NYCHA is committed to providing limited English proficient persons (LEP persons) with meaningful access to its programs and activities, including the public housing and Section 8 programs.
Millie Molina has served as NYCHA’s Language Access Coordinator since July 2016. In that time, she’s visited staff around the city to discuss NYCHA’s Language Assistance Services Policy. Ms. Molina also oversees the Authority’s Language Services Unit—which includes two Spanish, two Chinese, and two Russian interpreters—as well as NYCHA’s Language Bank, made up of over 140 employee-volunteers who speak 34 languages.
“All NYCHA staff play an important role to ensure all NYCHA residents, regardless of their proficiency in English, have access to quality customer service,” said Ms. Molina. “Language should never be a barrier between the work we do and the residents we serve.”
Ms. Molina recently visited the Bronx Customer Contact Center to lead two information sessions, walking each group through the steps to take when communicating with a person who doesn’t speak English:
- Use the Language Identification Card to identify the language they speak.
- Find a bilingual staff person who can act as interpreter.
- If there isn’t a staff member available to help, contact the Language Assistance Hotline for an on demand, over-the-phone interpreter.
- Arrange an in-person interpreter through the Language Services Unit.
In addition, LSU can assist with written translations and arrange for sign language interpreters for the hearing impaired.
Residents who need assistance should call the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 to report a problem within their apartment (work orders). If a caller needs language assistance when they make these calls, the CCC has in-house interpreters that can assist or reach out to a language vendor for assistance.