HUD removes promises of inclusive, discrimination-free communities from mission statement: report

HUD removes promises of inclusive, discrimination-free communities from mission statement: report
© Camille Fine

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is removing language from its mission statement that promises to create “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination,” HuffPost reported Tuesday.

The new mission statement was sent out to HUD political staffers in a March 5 memo by Amy Thompson, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs. A HUD employee shared the memo with HuffPost.

Thompson wrote that the statement was being changed “in an effort to align HUD’s mission with the Secretary’s priorities and that of the Administration.”

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She added that it was changed with help from HUD Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonBen Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Report: A third of Ben Carson’s appointees have no housing experience MORE and his deputy at the department.

“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,” the new statement now reads.

Thompson asked staffers to send any “comments or suggestions” on the new language. It’s unclear if this is the final version of a new mission statement.

“An organization’s mission is never static,” Thompson wrote in the memo. “A mission statement describes an organization’s purpose, what it intends to do, and whom it intends to serve. Most importantly, an organization’s activities must be embodied in its mission.”

A HUD spokesman said in an email that the department is considering "modest changes" to the mission statement, like other past 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," he said. "HUD has been, is now, and will always be committed to ensuring inclusive housing, free from discrimination for all Americans.

The old mission statement remained on HUD’s website as of early Wednesday afternoon.

“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,” it reads.

--This report was updated at 1:19 p.m.