HUD Plans to Change Its Mission Statement
March 8, 2018
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is considering changing its mission statement to remove what it calls antidiscrimination language. HUD Secretary Ben Carson has been leading the charge and seeking to add in “self-sufficiency,” a major focus of his since taking the helm of HUD.
A draft being circulated of the new mission statement reads:
“HUD’s mission is to ensure Americans have access to fair, affordable housing and opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency, thereby strengthening our communities and nation.”
HUD’s current mission statement reads:
“HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.”
The mission statement has not been made final yet, nor have any updates been made to it on HUD’s website. HUD’s current mission statement, which still appears on its website, is much longer and promises “strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all” and to make communities “free from discrimination.”
HUD spokesman Raffi Williams has acknowledged that HUD is considering “modest changes” to its mission statement, just like previous administrations have done.
“You can be sure of one thing—any mission statement for this Department will embody the principle of fairness as a central element of everything that we do,” Williams said in a statement. “HUD has been, is now, and will always be committed to ensuring inclusive housing, free from discrimination for all Americans.”
Carson has been an advocate of “self-sufficiency” in housing. He has made a push for programs that allow low-income Americans who receive federal assistance to better their situations and not get stuck relying on aid. In December, he announced an initiative to add Envision Centers near public housing developments. The centers would help train people in educational advancement, leadership, and health and wellness.
Our statement on the changes to HUD’s mission. pic.twitter.com/DW0cJjN2qh
— HUDgov (@HUDgov) March 7, 2018
The National Association of REALTORS® released a statement on Thursday saying that “fair housing for all” should remain a critical part of any new mission statement that HUD considers.
“As REALTORS® join with our industry partners, allies and consumers throughout 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, we believe that fair housing for all should remain a core part of HUD’s mission,” says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “The Fair Housing Act provides that HUD will enforce the Act and administer its programs and activities in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law, he exclaimed that fair housing for all—all human beings who live in this country—is now a part of the American way of life. Not only is fair housing integral to the ethical commitment of our members, as outlined in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, it is critical to our ability to serve our customers, clients, and the community. We look forward to continuing our work with HUD to advocate for inclusive sustainable communities free from discrimination.”
Source: “Ben Carson Removes Anti-Discrimination Language From HUD Mission Statement,” HuffPost (March 6, 2018) and “Ben Carson’s Mission Statement for HUD May No Longer Include Anti-Discrimination Language,” The Washington Post (March 7, 2018)
Updated: September 21, 2018