Ben Carson Removes Anti-Discrimination Language From HUD Mission Statement

It will no longer reference “inclusive” communities “free from discrimination.”

WASHINGTON ― Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is changing the mission statement of his agency, removing promises of inclusive and discrimination-free communities.

In a March 5 memo addressed to HUD political staff, Amy Thompson, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs, explained that the statement is being updated “in an effort to align HUD’s mission with the Secretary’s priorities and that of the Administration.”

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.

“An organization’s mission is never static,” Thompson wrote in the memo, which was shared with HuffPost by a HUD employee. “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.”

She said the mission statement had been developed with input from both Carson and his deputy. It’s not clear whether the new language is final. Thompson asked the political staff to send along any “comments or suggestions.”

The Carson mission statement is quite different from the current one, which is still up on HUD’s website. That one promises “strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.” It also says these communities will be “free from discrimination”:

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.

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