Hundreds of civil rights groups this week asked Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBen CarsonRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party Sunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Government indoctrination, whether 'critical' or 'patriotic,' is wrong MORE to reconsider changing the agency’s mission statement to preserve anti-discrimination language.
“We urge you in the strongest possible terms to reverse course and retain language in your agency’s mission statement that reflects one of HUD’s most important responsibilities: enforcement and promotion of the Fair Housing Act,” the 573 groups wrote in a letter sent to Carson on Friday.
The civil rights groups asked Carson for a meeting to discuss the “mission and fair housing obligations” of HUD.
HuffPost first reported the letter.
Carson has proposed replacing language in HUD’s current mission statement that promises to create “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination” with language centered on “self-sufficiency,” HuffPost reported on Tuesday.
The new mission statement would read: “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 civil rights groups argued that by taking out the references to discrimination from HUD’s mission statement has "sent a message to jurisdictions, housing providers and the public that promoting housing choice and assisting victims of housing discrimination are no longer priorities at HUD."
Hundreds of additional groups in the letter join the National Urban League and the Human Rights Campaign after those top groups protested the change earlier this week.
In an email to HUD employees that Carson sent on Thursday, the secretary said that he would remain committed to fighting discrimination and still agrees with “every word” of the current statement, HuffPost reported.
“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,” HUD’s current mission statement reads.