Housing and Urban Development

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is considering a change to their their mission statement in "an effort to align HUD's mission with the Secretary's priorities and that of the Administration," according to a March, 5 memo.  The changes will remove anti discrimination language, references to inclusive communities, consumer protections, and quality homes for all. HUD Secretary Ben Carson is focused on "self-sufficiency" and the proposed new missions statement reflects that. It reads:

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.

National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Elizabeth Mendenhall issued a statement in response the proposed changes:

As Realtors® join with our industry partners, allies and consumers throughout 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, we believe that fair housing for all should remain a core part of HUD's mission. The Fair Housing Act provides that HUD will enforce the Act and administer its programs and activities in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law, he exclaimed that fair housing for all - all human beings who live in this country - is now a part of the American way of life. "Not only is Fair Housing integral to the ethical commitment of our members, as outlined in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, it is critical to our ability to serve our customers, clients and the community. We look forward to continuing our work with HUD to advocate for inclusive sustainable communities free from discrimination.

The new statement mentions fair housing, though it's unclear what constitutes fair at this time. It will be interesting to see what exactly "self sufficiency" means and how that affects the operation of HUD. In addidition to other things, HUD oversee's FHA and USDA loans. Both of these loans require little to no down payment. Will the new focus have an affect on these programs?