The Slatest

Report: Ben Carson’s New HUD Mission Statement to Emphasize Self-Sufficiency, Ignore Discrimination

HUD Secretary Ben Carson
HUD Secretary Ben Carson speaks in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Jan. 12. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Ben Carson plans to release a new mission statement for the Department of Housing and Urban Development that drops phrasing vowing to make its housing “inclusive” and “free from discrimination,” according to a new report from HuffPost.

In a staff memo from March 5 obtained by HuffPost, the department’s public affairs assistant secretary wrote that the update was intended “to align HUD’s mission with the Secretary’s priorities and that of the Administration.”

Here is the current mission statement, still on the HUD website:


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.


Here is the proposed mission statement in the memo:

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 considerably shorter statement drops the terms sustainable, quality, quality of life, inclusive, and discrimination. It also abandons the phrasing related to strengthening the housing market and protecting consumers, and it instead emphasizes “self-sufficiency.”


According to HuffPost, the memo explained that Carson and his deputy weighed in on the new mission statement. “A mission statement describes an organization’s purpose, what it intends to do, and whom it intends to serve,” the memo said. “Most importantly, an organization’s activities must be embodied in its mission.”

The tone of the proposed statement isn’t shocking. Carson has said that “government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,” that poverty is a choice, that LGBT people do not deserve “extra rights,” and that if public housing were too comfortable, low-income Americans would have no incentive to pull themselves out of poverty.

It’s not yet clear if the mission statement is final, as the memo did ask for comments from the staff.