In a March 5 memo, Department of Housing and Urban Development assistant secretary of public affairs Amy Thompson notified staffers that the department is removing key language from its mission statement.
The department’s promise to promote “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination” will be axed from the statement.
As noted in the memo, the move is being executed “in an effort to align HUD’s mission with the Secretary’s priorities and that of the Administration.”
Thompson also revealed that the decision was made with help from HUD secretary Ben Carson.
“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 reworked HUD mission statement now says, according to The Hill.
The original mission statement pre-Carson read as such:
“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.”
In the memo, Thompson stated that the change is a necessary one in order to describe HUD’s true mission.
“An organization’s mission is never static,” she wrote. “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.”
As reported by HuffPost, Thompson asked HUD staffers to respond with any “comments or suggestions.”
Raffi Williams, a HUD spokesperson, revealed that officials had been planning on making “modest changes” to the mission statement.
According to Williams, the alteration was made to “make it a more clear and concise expression of the historic work this agency performs on behalf of the American people.”
He added that the changes aren’t unique to the current administration, as previous ones before it had altered the language to suit their goals.
“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,” he added.
HuffPost added that HUD isn’t the only agency to change its mission statement under President Donald Trump. Employees from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services were recently notified that “America’s promise as a nation of immigrants” would be removed from the agency’s mission statement.
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