WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement Wednesday regarding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) decision to remove the anti-discrimination language from its mission statement, eliminating any reference to the long-standing goals of inclusive and discrimination-free communities:
“Secretary Carson’s decision to remove anti-discrimination language from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s mission statement yet again demonstrates this Administration’s hostility to protecting the rights of vulnerable Americans. The Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968 only a few years after the creation of HUD. The Act’s fair housing principles prohibiting discrimination against African Americans, Latinos and other minority groups, and promoting residential integration have been at the core of HUD’s existence ever since. It is outrageous that HUD would take such action on the 50th anniversary of the Act’s passage, a law passed immediately following and in response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“This latest action must be viewed alongside other recent actions taken by HUD that are contrary to the goals of the Fair Housing Act. Last August, HUD suspended the Small Area Fair Market Rent rule designed to increase low-income families’ access to opportunity and housing choice. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, along with a coalition of civil rights organizations, sued HUD for suspending the rule and on December 23, 2017, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against HUD, requiring the Department to implement the rule immediately. Nonetheless, on January 5, 2018, HUD proceeded to suspend another regulation – a landmark rule designed to strengthen the Fair Housing Act’s requirement that recipients of federal housing funding affirmatively further fair housing.
“HUD’s abandonment of its historical commitment to fair housing is extremely alarming. We will continue to fight this serious attack on the enforcement of civil rights laws by the Administration.”