Interviews with 20 current and former Department of Housing and Urban Development officials, as well as internal agency emails, have detailed a number of efforts by the Trump administration to scale back enforcement of fair housing laws, freeze department actions against governments and businesses, including Facebook, and sideline officials who have pursued civil rights cases.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson also moved this month to remove the words “inclusive” and “free from discrimination” from the department’s mission statement.

In November, a top HUD official reported that the head of the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity division, Anna Maria Farías, had frozen several fair housing investigations that former HUD secretary Julián Castro had given the highest priority. Among these cases are two concerning accessibility issues at communities in New York and Ohio developed by Toll Brothers and Epcon Communities.

Advocates for the poor and career HUD officials say that Mr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, and his political appointees have begun weakening the department’s fair housing division at a critical moment. The agency now has its greatest leverage to right past wrongs thanks to the $28 billion in disaster recovery Community Development Block Grants that Congress has appropriated to rebuild the Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

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