Grant Administration: Section 10.2 General Relocation Requirements under URAThe URA covers all types of displaced persons, including both residents and businesses. It also covers the temporary relocation of existing occupants. The following sections of the this chapter sorted by: (1) URA requirements that apply to all persons; (2) URA requirements that apply to displaced residential occupants; (3) URA requirements that apply to temporary relocation; and (4) URA requirements that apply to non-residential (commercial, non-profit, farm) occupants.
Acquisition and/or relocation of mobile homes is also covered by the URA. Since there are many variables in the ownership and tenancy of mobile homes, grant administrators are asked to consult with CDFA before proceeding with the acquisition or relocation of mobile homes.
After covering the URA requirements for relocation, this chapter covers Section 104(d) relocation requirements.
The requirements in this section apply to all projects where the URA is triggered. The URA relocation process can differ greatly depending upon the funding used in a project and whether an involuntary sale will be involved in the process.
Planning for Relocation
If CDFA funds will involve relocation, the grantee must develop written policies and procedures for managing the anticipated relocation caseload in the form of a “relocation plan.”
These procedures must be in compliance with all elements of the Final Rule implementing changes to the URA and the Residential Anti-displacement and Relocation Plan, previously developed as part of the application for CDBG assistance.
The plan must contain two components:
- A commitment to replace all low- and moderate-income dwelling units that are demolished or converted to a use other than low- and moderate-income housing as a direct result of the use of CDFA funds, and
- A commitment to provide relocation assistance required under Section 104(d) of the Housing and Community Development Act.
The plan must be adopted by the local governing body. A sample of this plan is included as Attachment 9-17: Sample Residential Anti-displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan in Chapter 9: Acquisition.
Advisory Services, Including Relocation Notices
The next step in the process is to provide relocation advisory services. This process requires the grantee to first personally interview the person to be displaced. The purpose of the interview is to explain the:
- Various payments and types of assistance available,
- Conditions of eligibility,
- Filing procedures, and
- Basis for determining the maximum relocation assistance payment available.
Grantees may use Attachment 10-3: Sample Household Case Record to collect the required information for residential occupants. It is very important that all significant contact with displacees be logged into Section 5 of the Household Case Record.
As a part of advisory services, the URA requires that all occupants receive notices informing them of their various rights.
General Information Notice
The General Information Notice is referred to in this chapter as one of the required notices when there is involuntary acquisition. This is a very important notice!
As soon as feasible after grant application, the project administrator must notify each household and/or business that the potential for displacement exists and provide them with a General Information Notice (GIN). The GIN informs residential and non-residential occupants of a possible project, including potential acquisition of the property. A sample of the GIN is provided as Attachment 10-4: General Information Notices for Residential Tenants
of this chapter. The GIN also informs the occupant prior to the initiation of negotiations not to move prematurely, because doing so will jeopardize any assistance that they may be due. By providing occupants with the GIN, the grantee protects themselves from claims for relocation benefits that could have been avoided if the person would not have been displaced.
Notice of Eligibility and Notice of Non-displacement
After grant approval, the grantee should determine who must be displaced and who will be allowed to remain in (or return to) the project. After making these determinations, the grantee should issue the appropriate relocation notices: either a Notice of Eligibility (for relocation assistance) or a Notice of Non-displacement.
- The Notice of Eligibility informs occupants who will be displaced of their rights and levels of assistance under the URA. See Attachment 10-5: Notice of Eligibility
- The Notice of Non-displacement informs occupants who will remain in or return after completion of their rights under URA and of the terms and conditions of their remaining in the property. See Attachment 10-6: Notice of Non Displacement .
In addition to these notices, copies of the HUD brochures, “Relocation Assistance to Displaced Homeowner Occupants” and “Relocation Assistance to Tenants Displaced from Their Homes” should be provided to displaced persons. See Attachment 10-7: Relocation Assistance to Displaced Homeowners Brochure and Attachment 10-8: Relocation Assistance to Displaced Tenants from Their Homes Brochures. These brochures can also be found on the HUD website.
Note that these two brochures are for residential relocation only. There are different requirements for relocation of businesses, farms, and non-profit organizations. Contact CDFA for guidance on non-residential relocation.
Notice to Move
The grantee may issue a 90-Day Move Notice after a Notice of Eligibility has been sent and when the grantee wants to establish the move-out date (see Attachment 10-9: Sample 90 and 30-Day Move Notices). The 90-Day Notice may not be issued until at least one comparable unit has been identified and presented to the residential displaced person.
The 90-day notice must either state a specific date as the earliest date by which an occupant will be required to move, or state that the occupant will receive a further notice, at least 30 days in advance, indicating the specific date by which to move. A flow chart summarizing the relocation process can be found as Attachment 10-11: Tenant Assistance/Relocation Process Flow Chart of this chapter. The 90-Day Move Notice may be a combined notice with the Notice of Eligibility or delivered at the same time. Handbook 1378, Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-3(c)
Discrimination in Relocation
Obviously, grantees must ensure that there is no discrimination in the relocation process. Individual displacees who have been discriminated against may not know how to take action on their own. Legal action is often too expensive to be a practical solution for them. The grantee must provide assistance in cases of discrimination. There are also different equal opportunity protections for businesses and additional protections for Fair Housing for displaced persons. See Chapter 4: Grantee Requirements and Attachment 4-15: Sample Grievance Procedures
of this implementation guide for additional information.
If a displacee has been discriminated against, there are two alternatives:
The displacee can send a complaint to CDFA within 180 days of the incident, simply telling CDFA what happened. The relocation officer and grant administrator should advise the displacee of this option and assist in preparing the complaint if the displacee desires to make one. The grantee’s Grievance Procedures should be adhered to in addressing such complaints. See Chapter 4: Grantee Requirements.
Upon receipt of the complaint, CDFA may take one or more of the following steps:
- Investigate to see if the law has been broken per the grantee’s Grievance Procedures;
- Contact the person accused of the violation and try to resolve the discrimination complaint;
- Refer the complaint to the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, www.nh.gov/hrc, (phone number 603-271-2767).
- Recommend that the displacee go to court.
A suit may be filed in federal court, in which case the displacee should consult either an attorney or the local Legal Aid Society for assistance. The relocation officer should advise the displacee regarding both sources of help. If the court finds in favor of the displacee, it can stop the sale of the house or the rental of the apartment to someone else, and award the displacee damages and court costs.