GUIDE to HOUSING in WORCESTER
BALTIMORE COMMUNITY HOUSING RESOURCE BOARD, INC.
Box 66180, Baltimore, Maryland 21239
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING
& COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Place, Crownsville, Maryland 21032
INFORMATION ABOUT HOUSING
Buying Housing. Rental Apartments
Listings. Affordable Housing. Homeless Services. General Resources.
WHAT IS THE HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
Unlawful Housing Acts. Exemptions
from the Law. Commonly-Asked Questions.
HOW TO FILE A HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
Options. Filing with the
State of Maryland. Filing with HUD.
FAIR HOUSING LAW REGARDING
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Definition of "Disability."
Overview of the Relevant Laws. Prohibited Discriminatory Actions.
Requirements for New Buildings.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
INFORMATION ABOUT HOUSING
- Someone thinking
about buying should receive housing counseling from a reputable
housing counseling agency. For a list of free counseling agencies,
telephone the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development at 800.756.0119.
- It is recommended
that a Realtor® be utilized for the house buying process.
- A house inspection
by an impartial, licensed housing inspector should be done as
part of the purchase agreement to buy the house / home / condominium.
Century 21 New
Horizon - 800-756-8223 / 410-723-4500
5700 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842
3906 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842
- 800-395-0988 / 410-723-0988
7802 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842
Estate - 410-208-9200
11065 Cathell Road, Berlin, Maryland 21811
Estate - 410-524-7700
7700 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842
Exchange - 410-957-0601
34092 Market Street, Pocomoke City, Maryland 21851
& Flynn - 410-524-6111
104th & Coastal, Ocean City, Maryland 21842
R. N. Davis
Company - 410-289-8256
333 Robin Drive, Ocean City, Maryland 21842
6808 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21842
P. O. Box 383, 517 Bay Street, Berlin, Maryland 21811 410-641-2272
Regional Housing Assistance Office,
Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development
738 Cambridge Plaza, Cambridge, Maryland 21613 800-445-4340
Humanity, Lower Shore
Builds & rehabs affordable homes.
P. O. Box 107, Salisbury, Maryland 21803 410-546-1551
Humanity, Northern Worcester County
Builds affordable homes.
11227 Race Track Road, Berlin, Maryland 21811
Housing Services, Inc.
513 Camden Avenue, Salisbury, Maryland 21801 410-543-4626
Housing counseling & development.
520 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury, Maryland 21804 410-749-1142
Snow Hill Citizens
for Decent Housing
500 Maple Street, Snow Hill, Maryland 21863 410-632-0688
326 Barclay Street, Salisbury, Maryland 21801
By referral only.
12747 Old Bridge Road, Ocean City, Maryland 21842
First Call for Help
Statewide 24-hour Hot Line. Referrals & information.
1-800-492-0618 / TTY 410-685-2159
Joseph House Crisis
Food, counseling, assistance:
812 Boundary Street, Salisbury, Maryland 21802 410-749-4239
Transitional shelter: 1001 Lake Street, Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Life Crisis Center
For victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
P. O. Box 387, Salisbury, Maryland 21801
410-749-HELP- 24-hour Hot Line
Lower Shore Coalition
for the Homeless
Referrals, assistance, counseling.
1001 Lake Street, Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Salvation Army - Salisbury
407 Oak Street, Salisbury
- Emergency shelter & meals.
P. O. B. 661, 814 Fourth St. Pocomoke City, MD 21851
Department of Health & Human Services
Medical assistance, child care, WIC.
P. O. Box 249, Snow Hill, Maryland 21863
Department of Social Services
Referrals to shelters, benefits, counseling.
Eviction & Homeless Prevention Program.
P. O. Box 39, Snow Hill, Maryland 21863
Alliance for the Mentally
Ill of the Lower Eastern Shore
Assistance in finding housing.
30402 Pine Street, Princess Anne, Maryland 21853
Clark Manor Cottagesbr>Pocomoke
110 Baptist Street, Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Center for Independent Living
Services & assistance for people with disabilities.
404-A LeCompte Street, Cambridge, Maryland 21613
for Individuals with Disabilities
Referral services, information.
1 Market Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
- Senior Housing
1006 Market Street, Pocomoke, Maryland 21851
Telephone assistance for persons with a hearing or a speech disability.
Mid-Shore Mental Health
P. O. Box 800, Cambridge, Maryland 21613
207 Maryland Avenue, Salisbury
On Our Own of
Support & services for people with mental illness.
3421 Benson Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21227
American Civil Liberties
Union of Maryland's Eastern Shore
Civil rights cases.
100 North Liberty Street, Centreville, Maryland 21617
Hispano Americana del Eastern Shore
705 Carmelia Road. Salisbury, Maryland 21804
Inc. - Tenant-Landlord Counseling
Inc., Social Services
1405 Wesley Drive, Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Coastal Counties C.
H. R. B.
Fair Housing education & advocacy.
P. O. Box 971, Salisbury, Maryland 21801
800-652-6312 / 410-524-5685
C. H. R. B.
Free Fair Housing brochures, self-help guides, posters.
Legal Aid Bureau of
the Lower Eastern Shore
Free legal assistance to income-eligible persons.
111 High Street, Salisbury, Maryland 21803
Legal Forms Helpline
- Women's Law Center of Maryland, Inc.
Maryland Legal Line
To hear audio tapes on legal aspects of various subjects.
Free legal assistance.
Three Lower Counties
Community Services, Inc.
12137 Elm Street, Princess Anne 21853
United Way of the
Lower Eastern Shore
213 W. Main Street, Salisbury
N. A. A. C. P.
Fair Housing advocacy.
P. O. Box 251, Snow Hill, Maryland 21863
WHAT IS THE HOUSING DISCRIMINATION LAW?
Title 14, Subtitle 03,
Chapter 4 (14.03.04) of the Code of Maryland Regulations prohibits
housing discrimination in the State based on:
it is against the law to:
(1) Refuse to sell or
rent a dwelling after a bona fide offer is made.
(2) Make any preference,
limitation, or discrimination based on the above classes.
(3) Tell a person that
a dwelling is not available when it is in fact available.
(4) Impose different
sales prices or rental charges for a dwelling.
(5) Use different qualification
criteria, applications, standards, or procedures - such as income
standards, application requirements, credit analysis, or approval
(6) Deny or limit services
(7) Have different terms,
conditions, or privileges, relating to dwelling sale or rental.
(8) Fail to or delay
to process an offer for dwelling sale or rental.
(9) Discourage or obstruct
housing choice by community, neighborhood, or development.
(10) Assign a person
to a particular section of a community, neighborhood, or development
- or to a particular floor of a building.
These types of housing
are exempt from the Fair Housing Law:
- Rooms/units in owner-occupied dwellings for five or fewer families
- Rental or sale of
a single-family home by an owner who does not own more than three
houses, who has not sold a house within one year, and who has
not used a broker or agent to rent the house.
- Housing that is specifically
operated for persons of one religious organization.
- Rooms in any dwelling
if the owner uses this as his/her principal residence.
Questions about the Law
the Law Cover Condominiums? - Yes.
Does the Law apply
to buildings built with Federal funds? - Yes.
The Act prohibits housing discrimination in both public and private
housing, regardless of whether the housing provider used Federal
Can a landlord ask
about the usage of birth control devices? - No.
HOW TO FILE A HOUSING DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT
A person who feels that
they are a victim of housing discrimination may file a complaint
with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) or with the
U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). A person
simultaneously may file a complaint with the State and with HUD.
Maryland's Discrimination Complaint Process
The first step in filing
a housing discrimination complaint is to contact the MCCR. Someone
who feels that s/he is the victim of housing discrimination (called
the "Complainant") may either telephone or write the MCCR within
one year of the incident. The MCCR's telephone numbers are: 800-637-6247
or 410-548-3243, the branch at the Salisbury Multi-Purpose Center.
The Eastern Shore branch is located at the Salisbury Multi-Purpose
Center, 201 Baptist Street, Suite 33, Salisbury, Maryland 21801.
The TDD number is 410-333-1737.
Upon contact, the MCCR
staffer will set up an appointment with the Complainant to obtain
more information about the complaint.
As soon as MCCR obtains
all the information about the incident from the Complainant, it
contacts and gets relevant information from the person who is the
subject of the complaint (called the "Respondent"). The MCCR makes
this fact-finding process as quickly as possible. This process is
quickened if the situation demands immediate action (e.g., the Complainant
is subject to immediate threat or harm). The MCCR will inform the Complainant
and the Respondent in writing of its decision of whether discrimination
has occurred, and it then will enforce corrective remedies.
The MCCR can order a
Respondent to make a financial payment and/or many other actions
to remedy a proven discrimination problem. For example, it can issue
a temporary restraining order to keep a housing unit on the market
in certain circumstances. The MCCR's administrative penalties can be
very costly to the person or company adjudged to be guilty of housing
$10,000 fine, if the person/company has committed one prior discriminatory
$25,000 fine, if the person/company has committed one prior discriminatory
practice within the past 5 years.
$50,000 fine, if the person/company has committed two or more
prior discriminatory practices within the past 7 years.
The MCCR also can negotiate
other remedies as agreed between its legal counsel, the Complainant,
and the Respondent. These may include actual damages and "equitable
relief" in addition to the monetary fine.
It is Against
the Law to Retaliate
The State of Maryland is committed
to ensuring that a person who makes a complaint or who supports
a complaint by another not be the victim of retaliation. It is illegal
to retaliate against a Complainant or someone who aids that person.
The State, therefore, will prosecute immediately such action if
it does occur.
is Against the Law to Intimidate
It also is illegal to
threaten or intimidate someone who has filed a discrimination complaint.
For example, it is illegal to:
Threaten an employee with dismissal because of filing a complaint.
Intimidate or threaten someone who has won a discrimination complaint.
Harass someone who has assisted another in filing a discrimination
it is illegal to threaten someone with bodily harm who has filed
a discrimination complaint. Harassing that person, by swearing and
physical threats, is against the law.
a Complaint with HUD
The U. S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is also ready to help with
housing discrimination. The Federal bases for Fair Housing complaints
are less than those of the State. The federal Act forbids housing
discrimination on the basis of:
process is very similar to that of the State. You can either:
- Write HUD a letter
to: Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, U. S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, S. W., Room
5204, Washington, D. C. 20410-2000
- Telephone the Maryland
HUD Office during regular business workdays (Monday-Friday, 8:30
a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) at 410-962-2520.
- Telephone the HUD
toll-free telephone hot-line at 800-669-9777.
also is available for persons with disabilities. A complaint should
be filed as soon as possible, but within one year of its occurrence.
For persons with disabilities,
HUD also provides:
TDD line for hearing-impaired: 410-962-0106.
Toll-free TDD line: 800-927-9275.
Interpreters; Tapes and Braille materials.
Assistance in reading and completing forms.
HOUSING DISCRIMINATION LAW FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794) and the Fair Housing Act, as
amended in 1988 by the Fair Housing Amendments Act (42 U.S.C. Section
3601 et. seq.) define an individual with disabilities (or handicaps)
" Any person who has
a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or
more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or
is regarded as having such an impairment."
These conditions are
considered as disabilities under the Law:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection.
Orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments.
of the Relevant Laws
Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4151) - This
Act provides for the removal of architectural barriers from all
Federally constructed, leased, or financed buildings.
of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794) - The
Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination, in Federally assisted
and conducted programs, against otherwise qualified individuals
with disabilities. Section 504 - and HUD's regulations - provide
for complaint procedures regarding housing discrimination on the
basis of disability. Complaint treatment parallels that for other
(e.g., racial) discriminatory allegations.
Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. 3601) - This
Act significantly revised and expanded Fair Housing rights. See
below for listing of discriminatory actions.
Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990 - This
Federal Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities
in private sector employment, all public services, public accommodations,
and telecommunications. For more information, please contact the
Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (800-637-6247).
(a) To refuse to permit,
at the request of a person with disabilities, reasonable modifications
if necessary to allow this person full usage of the dwelling.
(b) To construct a new
housing complex that does not include accessible structure and design
(c) To refuse to make
reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, services, or practices,
when necessary to allow a person with disabilities an equal opportunity
to use and enjoy the housing. Some examples are:
A building with a "no
pets" policy must allow a visually-impaired tenant to keep a guide
apartment complex that offers tenants ample, unassigned parking
must honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved
space near his/her apartment, if necessary to assure that he/she
can have access to the apartment.
for New Buildings
In buildings that were
ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, and have an elevator
and four or more units:
(1) Public and common
areas must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
(2) Doors and hallways
must be wide enough for wheelchairs.
(3) All units must have:
An accessible route through the unit.
Accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and
other environmental controls.
Reinforced bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab
Kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by people in wheelchairs.
If a building
with 4 or more housing units has no elevator and had first occupancy
after March 13, 1991, these standards apply to ground floor units
only. These requirements do not replace more stringent standards
in Maryland or Worcester County law. Housing need not be made available
to a person who is a direct threat to the health or safety of others,
or who currently uses illegal drugs.
What must a housing
provider consider to assure that housing is provided is integrated?
- The housing
for persons with disabilities must not be separate or unnecessarily
segregated. Accessible units in single buildings should be located
throughout the building, and not just on the first floor. In projects
with multiple buildings, accessible units should be located throughout
these buildings, rather than in just one or two buildings. Persons
with mental disabilities should not be segregated in any one wing,
floor, or building.
the Law apply to building built without Federal funds? - The
Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination in both public
and private housing, regardless of whether or not the housing provider
receives Federal funds.
What about communication
with persons with disabilities? - A
housing provider must have an effective way to communicate with
all tenants and applicants who have disabilities:
- Telephone: TDD or
a fax machine.
- Alternate site for
applicants if not accessible.
- Application forms
and other information in simplified language and utilize pictures
What is the Law regarding the cost of housing modifications?
- The Fair Housing
Act requires that housing providers allow tenants with disabilities
to make modifications, at the tenant's expense, when such modifications
are necessary. However, the provider is required to cover the
cost to make existing units accessible when a project is viewed
in its entirety.
about information given during the application process? - A
housing provider may indicate the availability of accessible units,
and ask all applicants if they wish to be considered for such units.
If the person indicates this, he/she can be asked to explain and
document why the accessibility features are required - even if to
answer these questions may involve revealing information about a
physical or mental disability (24 CFR. Sec. 8.27).
Can a provider make
the ability to live independently a term or condition of tenancy?
- No. Instead,
the provider must rely on the tenant's ability to meet the standard
obligations of tenancy (e.g., maintaining the unit) to determine
if the tenant can continue to reside in that unit.
can a housing provider evict a person with disabilities who damages
his/her unit and/or disturbs tenants? - The
general rule is that a person with disabilities can be held to the
same standards of behavior as those to which a non-disabled person
is held. Reasonable accommodation sometimes may require that a landlord
make an accommodation in the rule.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Coastal Counties C.
H. R. B.
P. O. Box 971, Salisbury, Maryland 21801 800-652-6312 / 410-524-5685
C. H. R. B.
Commission on Civil Rights
800-637-6247 / 410-548-3243 / TDD 410-333-1737
201 Baptist Street, Suite 33, Salisbury, Maryland 21801