On the heels of news coverage over pricey furniture ordered for the Department of Housing and Urban Development home office in Washington D.C., HUD made headlines again this week—this time over changes to the agency’s mission statement.
Reports originating with a memo obtained by The Huffington Post surfaced Tuesday indicating that HUD Secretary Ben Carson was working to change HUD’s mission statement, through removal of some of the statement’s language around inclusive and discrimination-free communities. The memo came from HUD Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Amy Thompson, seeking comments and suggestions from HUD staff.
A spokesman for HUD confirmed to news outlets that the agency was considering modest changes to the statement to make it more clear.
Yet Thursday, an open letter from Sec. Carson himself sent to HUD colleagues called the news reports “false.”
“…it’s necessary that I personally address them and reassure you, the HUD family, that nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
He included the current mission statement in the text of the letter:
“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.”
He further continued to state that “the department is considering a change but that any new mission statement would reflect a lack of commitment to fair housing is nonsense.”
“…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. HUD has been, is now, and will always be committed to ensuring inclusive housing, free from discrimination for all Americans,” Carson wrote.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker