President Lyndon Johnson signed the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act into law on Sept. 9, 1965. The law created HUD at the Cabinet level as the nation's central housing authority. From HUD's 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."
The HUD act was -- along with the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid -- part of Johnson's Great Society program to eliminate poverty and racial injustice.
It's a goal that HUD pursues into today, though of course not without controversy. Last month, U.S. News & World Report outlined HUD's proposal to "change U.S. neighborhoods [that HUD] says are racially imbalanced or are too tilted toward rich or poor, arguing the country's housing policies have not been effective at creating the kind of integrated communities the agency had hoped for." Small-government proponents and others criticize the plan, seeing it "as an effort by the Obama administration to force communities to diversify in ways that may hurt local property values, their tax bases, and their overall economies," according to a Christian Science Monitor report.