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Civil Rights Organizations Urge HUD To Keep Anti-Discrimination Language In Mission Statement
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is among 573 civil rights organizations and advocates alarmed over reports this week announcing that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) intends to remove references to creating “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination” from its mission statement.
In a joint letter sent to HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, LDF and 572 organizations and advocates demand that HUD keep its original language that “reflects one of HUD’s most important responsibilities: enforcement and promotion of the Fair Housing Act.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which Congress passed one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. The FHA not only bans housing discrimination on the basis of race, but also requires that HUD administer its programs in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing. If HUD replaces the anti-discriminatory language, it signals the end of its commitment to help people of color move into communities of opportunity.
“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development came into existence almost five decades ago to address the systemic housing discrimination that segregated communities and trapped Blacks and people of color in high-poverty neighborhoods,” said Todd A. Cox, LDF’s Director of Policy. “HUD’s reported intention to remove anti-discrimination language from its mission is a direct attack on the policies and principals enshrined in the Fair Housing Act—one of our nation’s most vital civil rights laws. Given this Administration’s hostility to civil rights, it is essential that HUD remain steadfast in its mission to provide fair housing free from discrimination.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.