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.

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.

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.

 

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.

Reasonable Accommodation

A reasonable accommodation is a change in rules, policies, practices, or services. The change is necessary to afford a person with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.  It is a violation of the Fair Housing Act for any person to refuse to make a reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a handicapped person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and common use areas.

The FHA 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. They can also charge an extra deposit.  Assistance and Service Animal Policy

Generally, under the Fair Housing Act, the housing provider is responsible for the costs associated with a reasonable accommodation unless it is an undue financial and administrative burden, while the tenant or someone acting on the tenant’s behalf, is responsible for costs associated with a reasonable modification.  Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Available Assistance

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 www.hud.gov/complaints.