MAP-21 Update: The material on this web page may not reflect the MAP-21 URA updates. Refer to Notice CPD-14-09 for MAP-21 for implementation guidance.
This module provides critical information on how HUD programs and projects may be impacted by two federal laws: the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA) and section 104(d) of the Housing and Community Development Act.
The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act (URA), is a federal law that establishes minimum standards for federally funded programs and projects that require the acquisition of real property (real estate) or displace persons from their homes, businesses, or farms. The URA's protections and assistance apply to the acquisition, rehabilitation, or demolition of real property for federal or federally funded projects.
This module covers URA requirements as they apply to HUD programs.
Agencies conducting a program or project under the URA must carry out their legal responsibilities to affected property owners and displaced persons. Agencies should plan accordingly to ensure that adequate time, funding and staffing are available to carry out their responsibilities.
Some of those responsibilities include:
For Real Property Acquisition
Please note that agency responsibilities for voluntary acquisitions differ. (Please see Voluntary Acquisition vs. Involuntary Acquisition in this training module for additional information.)
For Residential Displacements
For Nonresidential Displacements (businesses, farms, and nonprofit organizations)
URA requirements apply to most HUD programs. There are, however, some exceptions such as PIH’s Section 18 Demolition and Disposition program (24 CFR Part 970).
You should refer to HUD's program rules to help determine whether the URA covers a particular program. When in doubt, grantees should contact their HUD Regional Relocation Specialist for assistance.
Planning can "make" or "break" your project. A well planned project may be completed on time and on schedule, whereas, a poorly planned project can result in delays, funding shortfalls, bad publicity, and even legal action. As a result, all acquisition and relocation activities should begin early in the project planning process.
Section 205 of the URA requires that, "Programs or projects undertaken by a federal agency or with federal financial assistance shall be planned in a manner that:
Agencies should plan their projects to ensure adequate time, funding, and staffing is available to carry out their responsibilities under the URA.
You should consult 49 CFR 24.205 and Chapter 2 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
The answer to this question may seem simple, but it can be more complex than it appears.
Your acquisition and relocation activities may trigger URA requirements even when you may feel they are unrelated. It is important for you to have a clear understanding of these and other important terms as defined in the URA and the regulations.
The phrase "program or project" is defined in 49 CFR Part 24 as, "any activity or series of activities undertaken by a federal agency or with federal financial assistance received or anticipated in any phase of an undertaking in accordance with the federal funding agency guidelines".
You should consult 49 CFR 24.2(a)(22), and Chapter 1 and Chapter 8 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
Oftentimes, HUD funded projects require the acquisition of real property. Agencies may acquire the needed real property from owners by voluntary or involuntary means. Under the URA, an acquisition is considered to be involuntary when an agency acquires property under threat or use of eminent domain. Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property for public purposes with payment of just compensation.
The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that "private property shall not be taken without payment of just compensation" and that "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law." These constitutional rights form the basis of the URA's protections for property owners.
The URA requirements for voluntary acquisitions and involuntary acquisitions differ significantly. While there are protections for property owners in both circumstances, only involuntary acquisitions trigger the full acquisition requirements of the URA found in 49 CFR Part 24 Subpart B.
Grantees must understand the critical differences between voluntary acquisitions and involuntary acquisitions under the URA before acquiring property for a HUD funded project.
For agencies with eminent domain authority, if:
For agencies without eminent domain authority, if:
You should consult 49 CFR 24.101(b)(1)-(5) and Chapter 5 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
The following steps represent the general process an agency must follow under the URA when acquiring property under threat of eminent domain:
Just compensation is derived from the appraisal process. Typically, the approved appraisal's estimate of fair market value is the basis for the amount of just compensation offered for the property to be acquired. Just compensation cannot be less than the approved appraisal's estimate of fair market value of the property being acquired.
When negotiations result in a purchase price exceeding the agency's estimate of just compensation, it is called an administrative settlement. Administrative settlements are made for administrative reasons that are considered to be in the best interest of the public. Authorized agency officials may approve administrative settlements if they are:
Agency files should include proper documentation to justify and support the decision for an administrative settlement.
You should consult 49 CFR 24.102-.108 and Chapter 5 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
Generally, a displaced person under the URA is an individual, family, partnership, association, corporation, or organization, which moves from their home, business, or farm, or moves their personal property, as a direct result of acquisition, demolition or rehabilitation for a federally funded project. Displaced persons are eligible for relocation assistance under the URA.
Generally, persons not displaced are not eligible for relocation assistance under the URA. Examples of persons not displaced include, but are not limited to, the following:
The URA contains specific definitions of a "displaced person" and "persons not displaced." These definitions in addition to the HUD handbook should be used when making any determinations of relocation eligibility. When in doubt, grantees should contact their HUD Regional Relocation Specialist for assistance.
You should consult 49 CFR 24.2(a)(9) and Chapter 1 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
The URA regulations require three notices to be issued to eligible persons. These notices provide important information about the project, the affected persons' resulting rights, their protections, and their eligibility for relocation assistance and payments under the URA. It is critical for agencies to issue appropriate notices to affected persons at the appropriate time.
One of the most important URA notices is the 90 Day Notice. No person shall be required to move without a minimum of 90 days written notice of the required date of the move.
HUD has specific requirements relating to the three URA notices and also requires additional notices be issued when conducting acquisition and relocation activities for HUD funded programs and projects. Agencies should refer to the HUD handbook for more information on this topic.
You should consult 49 CFR 24.203 and Chapter 2 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
In addition to being required by law, relocation advisory services are the single most important part of a successful relocation program. Relocation advisory services are required to be provided to all eligible displaced persons including nonresidential displaced persons.
You should consult 49 CFR 24.205 and Chapter 2 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
In addition to relocation advisory services, residential displaced persons may be eligible for other relocation assistance including relocation payments for moving expenses and replacement housing payments for the increased costs of renting or purchasing a comparable replacement dwelling.
The URA provides the following moving payment options:
In cases where a displaced person's move is performed by the agency at no cost to the person, the displaced person should receive a $100 expense and dislocation allowance.
The URA provides for different replacement housing payments (RHP) based on a displaced person's occupancy status and length of occupancy. Tenant occupants may be eligible for a rental assistance payment to supplement the costs of leasing a comparable replacement dwelling, or downpayment assistance payment to purchase a replacement dwelling. Owner occupants may be eligible for a price differential payment, mortgage interest differential payment, or incidental payments to supplement the costs of purchasing a comparable replacement dwelling.
For tenant occupants of 90 days or more
A rental assistance payment is based on the difference, if any, between the cost of the monthly rent and utilities of the displacement dwelling and a comparable decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling, as determined by the agency. The URA established a 42 month period for supplementing this payment difference, for a total amount up to $7,200. (Please see Housing of Last Resort in this module for additional information).
It is important to note that a rental assistance payment should be based on income for low-income persons. (Please see 49 CFR 24.402(b) and FHWA's Low Income Calculations for additional information.)
Furthermore, tenant occupants may be eligible to use their rental assistance payment as a downpayment for the purchase of a replacement dwelling.
For owner occupants of 90 days or more
A price differential payment is based on the difference, if any, between the acquisition price of the acquired dwelling and the purchase price of a comparable decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling, as determined by the agency. The URA established a maximum amount of $31,000 for a RHP for 90 day owner occupants (Please see Housing of Last Resort in this training module for additional information).
You should consult 49 CFR 24.301-.302 and Chapter 3 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
You should consult 49 CFR 24.401-.404 and Chapter 3 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
The URA requires that comparable decent, safe, and sanitary replacement (DSS) housing within a person's financial means be made available before that person may be displaced. When such housing cannot be provided by using replacement housing payments, the URA provides for "housing of last resort." Housing of last resort may involve the use of replacement housing payments that exceed the URA maximum amounts. Housing of last resort may also involve the use of other methods of providing comparable decent, safe, and sanitary housing within a person's financial means.
Agencies have broad flexibility in the use of housing of last resort. It is intended to enable agencies to respond to difficult or special displacements, but it should not be used as a substitute for lack of time or lack of relocation advisory services.
Remember that it is crucial to identify potential housing of last resort situations early so that they may be addressed in a proper manner.
You should consult 49 CFR 24.404 and Chapter 3 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance
Sometimes a project may require persons to be displaced from their dwellings for only a short period of time. Although temporarily displaced persons do not receive the same relocation assistance and payments as persons permanently displaced under the URA, they do have certain rights and protections.
When necessary or appropriate, residential tenants who will not be required to move permanently may be required to relocate temporarily for the project. Temporary relocation should not extend beyond one year before the person is returned to his or her previous unit or location. Any residential tenant who has been temporarily relocated for more than one year must be offered all permanent relocation assistance which may not be reduced by the amount of any temporary relocation assistance previously provided.
All conditions of temporary relocation must be reasonable. At a minimum, the tenant shall be provided the following:
You should consult 49 CFR 24.2(a)(9)(ii)(D) and HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
Nonresidential relocation can be extremely complex and expensive. Agencies should be cautious when conducting nonresidential displacements under the URA. It is recommended for agencies to seek guidance and assistance from knowledgeable persons with this expertise early in the process.
In addition to relocation advisory services, nonresidential displaced persons may be eligible for other relocation assistance including relocation payments for moving expenses and reestablishment.
The URA provides the following moving options:
You should consult 49 CFR 24.301, 24.303-.305 and Chapter 4 of HUD Handbook 1378 for more guidance.
Section 104(d) of the Housing and Community Development Act (HCD) provides minimum requirements for certain HUD funded programs or projects.
The relocation assistance and payments for eligible persons under section 104(d) are similar to those required for the URA but there are a number of differences. One significant difference between the laws is the period of time used to calculate a rental assistance payment; section 104(d) uses 60 months vs. 42 months for the URA. Section 104(d)-eligible displaced persons may also choose to receive relocation assistance under section 104(d) or relocation assistance under the URA.
Section 104(d) Regulations: 24 CFR Part 42 is the regulation that implements section 104(d) of the Housing and Community Development Act.
You should visit the Real Estate Acquisition and Relocation web site for all your acquisition and relocation needs. There, you will find the following information and much more, including: