The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is considering modifying its mission statement, eliminating “free from discrimination,” reported several sources Wednesday. The agency’s current mission statement, in part:
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…build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination…
According to a memo obtained by Huffington Post, the altered mission statement is:
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 change eliminates “free from discrimination” and inserts “opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency.”
The agency issued a statement on Wednesday confirming it is considering the revision, noting “any mission statement for this department will embody the principle of fairness as a central element of everything that we do. HUD has been, is now, and will always be committed to ensuring inclusive housing, free from discrimination for all Americans.”
The National Fair Housing Alliance condemned the news in a tweet on Wednesday:
Millions in the US continue to experience housing discrimination each year. @HUDgov is removing #AntiDiscrimination language from its mission statement. We won’t stand for it. #StillSegregated #FairHousing https://t.co/jb5BoECtu9
— NFHA (@natfairhouse) March 7, 2018
On Thursday, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reiterated its commitment to fair housing:
“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,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall in a statement. “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,” Mendenhall said. “We look forward to continuing our work with HUD to advocate for inclusive sustainable communities free from discrimination.”
Stay tuned to RISMedia for more developments.