Cumberland Maryland’s Oldest and Largest

Affordable Housing Rental and For Sale Housing Provider

History of Public Housing

On June 16, 1933, as a part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Public Works Administration (PWA) was created to develop a program for the “construction, reconstruction, alteration, or repair under public regulation or control of low-cost housing projects.  In the spring of 1934, the PWA Administrator directed the Housing Division to undertake the direct construction of public housing, a decisive step that would serve as a precedent for the 1937 Housing Act, and the permanent public housing program in the United States that we have today.

In 1937, the Housing Act of 1937 replaced the temporary PWA Housing Division with a permanent, quasi-autonomous agency to administer housing known as the United States Housing Authority.  The Housing Act of 1949 dramatically expanded the role of the federal government in both public and private housing and initiated construction of a significant public housing program with the goal of  a “decent home in a decent environment for every American,” Several additional housing acts were passed after 1949, altering the program in small ways but no major legislation changed the mechanisms of public housing until the Housing and Uban Development Act of 1965. This act created the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a cabinet-level agency to lead with housing. In 1973, funding for housing projects was halted.

Housing Authority of the City of Cumberland

The Housing Authority of the City of Cumberland, Maryland was established in 1949 as a HUD Public Housing Authority operating under the federal guidelines of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is chartered under the Annotated Code of Maryland Article 44A. The Housing Authority operates as an agency within the Cumberland Housing Group and completely independent from that of the local city/county government.

The Mission of Cumberland Housing is:

—To provide safe, decent, sanitary, affordable  and well maintained housing at a fair market rent;

—to create opportunities for residents’ self-sufficiency and economic independence;

—to assure fiscal integrity by all low, very low and extremely low-income program participants; and

—to develop affordable housing, both rental and for sale, in the City of Cumberland and surrounding communities.

The Housing Authority is governed by a Board of Commissioners consisting of five Commissioners. These Commissioners are appointed upon recommendation by the Housing Authority Board by the Cumberland City Council. Commissioners shall be residents of Cumberland, or be employed within the City of Cumberland and are residents of the Corporation’s service area. Diversity of Directors. No more than four (4) Directors will consist of representatives of various areas of the public sector. This may include, but shall not be limited to, representatives of labor, finance, business, insurance, real estate, and community service organizations whom have positions and duties consistent with the operations of the corporation. One Commissioner is a resident of an affordable housing development owned by the Housing Authority of the City of Cumberland. Commissioners are appointed for five year staggered terms that are renewable.

The Housing Authority is a full-service agency with all property management, financial and maintenance operations conducted within the central office located at 635 East First Street in Cumberland.  The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cumberland Housing Group is responsible for the operations of the Housing Authority and is assisted by the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Public Housing Assessment System

The Housing Authority is evaluated annually by the HUD Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) utilizing the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) which is performed through a third party physical inspection and HUD online evaluations which measures four areas:

  1. Financial Management and Condition – 25% of the composite score;
  2. Physical Condition of properties and units – 40% of the composite score;
  3. Assessment of Management operations – 25% of the composite score; and
  4. Assessment of the use of the Capital Fund Program – 10% of the composite score.

Each year since 1999, when HUD implemented the Public Housing Assessment System, we have been consistently rated as a High Performing Agency.  Our most recent score for fiscal year 2017 was 95%.

5 Year Plan

Significant Plan Amendment

Civil Rights Certification

Drug Free Certification

Risk Control Policy


Housing Authority of the City of Cumberland - 635 E. First Street, Cumberland MD, 21502