The Cumberland Housing Group is committed to executing fair housing practices to all housing related activities and enforcing the State and Federal regulations.

Fair Housing Act (FHA)

The Fair Housing Act is a federal act in the United States intended to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination.  The law makes it illegal to discriminate in the sale, lease, or rental of housing, or to make housing unavailable because of that person’s inclusion in a protected class -defined as race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.  The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap which is defined as persons with mental or physical impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities.

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing means “taking meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics.

Reasonable Accommodation

A reasonable accommodation or modification is a change, adaptation, exception, or adjustment to a rule, practice, policy, program, service, and facilities, that may be necessary to eliminate barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in housing opportunities in any federally-assisted program or activity including housing. Any change in the way things is customarily done that enables a person with disabilities to enjoy housing opportunities or to meet program requirements is a reasonable accommodation.

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations & Modifications include, but are not limited to:

  • Permitting an applicant to submit a housing application via a different means;
  • Assigning an accessible parking space for a person with a mobility impairment;
  • Permitting a resident to transfer to a ground-floor unit;
  • Installing strobe-type flashing light smoke detectors in a unit for a family with a hearing-impaired member;
  • Installation of a ramp into a building;
  • Lowering the entry threshold of a unit;
  • Changing the doorknobs to lever-type door handles;
  • Adjusting a rent payment schedule to accommodate when an individual receives income assistance;
  • Adding a grab bar to a resident’s bathroom;
  • Permitting an assistance animal in a “no pets” building for a person who is deaf, blind, has seizures, or has a mental disability;
  • Providing accessible kitchen appliances;
  • Making large type documents, Braille documents, audio recordings or a reader available to an applicant or resident with a vision impairment during interviews or meetings with the Cumberland Housing Group staff;
  • Making a sign language interpreter available to an applicant or resident with a hearing impairment during interviews or meetings with the Cumberland Housing Group staff; and
  • Permitting an applicant or resident to be accompanied or represented by a family member, friend or advocate at all meetings and interviews with the Cumberland Housing Group if the individual desires such representation.

Although an applicant or resident isn’t entitled to receive a reasonable accommodation unless they request one, it isn’t required that a request be made in a particular manner or at a particular time. A resident or applicant makes a reasonable accommodation request whenever he makes it clear to the housing provider that he’s requesting an exception, change, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or rule because of a disability.  The Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form #148A  is made available for those requesting a Reasonable Accommodation.   If assistance is needed in completing the form, staff will assist the requestor at the time of the request.  The request is not required to be submitted in writing or for the person making the request to use our form.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedures  

The Fair Housing Administration does not require landlords to allow pets. But a tenant can ask for a reasonable accommodation for a service animal. Landlords can set some limits on the type and size of the pet. This is further explained in our Assistance and Service Animal Policy.

Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act (Section 504)

Section 504 was the first disability civil rights law to be enacted in the United States. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal financial assistance, and set the stage for enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504 works together with the ADA to protect children and adults with disabilities from exclusion, and unequal treatment in schools, jobs and the community.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990.  The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The ADA requires state and local governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations to provide goods, services, and programs to people with disabilities on an equal basis so that they may have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.  In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADAAA made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability” and includes deafness, blindness, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, intellectual disabilities, partial or completely missing limbs, mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheel chair.

The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life.

Title I –     Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities

Title II –   Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services (prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities, and services of public entities. It applies to all state and local governments, their departments and agencies, and any other instrumentalities or special purpose districts of state or local governments.)

Title III – Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities

Title IV – Telecommunications

Title V –    Miscellaneous Provisions

The accessibility guideline requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, additions to, and alteration of sites, facilities, buildings, and elements to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Available Assistance

The Cumberland Housing Group participates in a State sponsored Relay System capable of providing two-way communications with the hearing impaired. The Relay System telephone number is displayed in the office lobbies, on the application and the cover of the Residential Lease Agreement.  Persons with disabilities may contact Cumberland Housing Group through the Maryland Relay System at 1-800-201-7165.

Persons with limited English proficiency can request that an interpreter be present.

Fair Housing Training

Our staff receive periodic training on Fair Housing regulations and practices as well as participate in local Fair Housing events sponsored by the Cumberland Human Relations Commission.

Filing a Complaint

If you wish to file a formal Fair Housing Complaint, please contact our office or the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777 or at