Grant Administration: Section 10.4 Temporary RelocationAgencies administering housing rehabilitation programs should establish written policies for temporary relocation of both owner-occupants and tenants.
Any temporary relocation may not exceed 12 months, or the household is considered displaced.
Agencies must administer their temporary relocation activities consistently and treat all people in similar circumstances the same. All terms must be “reasonable” or the temporarily relocated household may become eligible as a “displaced person”.
Lead-Based Paint Hazards Requirements and Relocation
The Lead Safe Housing Rule, 24 CFR Part 35, contain rules concerning the temporary relocation of occupants (renters and owners) before and during hazard reduction activities. 24 CFR Part 35 & 24 CFR 570.608
Under the lead regulations, circumstances when temporary occupant relocation is not required include:
- Treatment will not disturb lead-based paint or create lead-contaminated dust; or
- Treatment of interior will be completed within one period in eight daytime hours, the site will be contained, and the work will not create other safety, health or environmental hazards: or
- Only the building’s exterior is treated; the windows, doors, ventilation intakes, and other openings near the work site are sealed during hazard reduction activities and cleaned afterward; and a lead- free entry is provided; or
- Treatment will be completed within five calendar days; the work area is sealed; at the end of each day, the area within 10 feet of the contaminant area is cleared of debris; at the end of each day, occupants have safe access to sleeping areas, bathrooms, and kitchen facilities; and treatment does not create other safety, health or environmental hazards.
If these above conditions are not met, then the temporary relocation of the household is required. However, because the rehabilitation of owner-occupied units is considered voluntary, the relocation requirements of the URA do not apply regardless of whether the unit is being treated for lead-based paint. Any payments made on an owner-occupants’ behalf would be addressed in an Optional Relocation Policy.
Again, note that the rehabilitation of tenant-occupied units is not considered voluntary and the URA requirements detailed earlier in this section apply.
NOTE: Elderly residents living in units undergoing lead hazard reduction activities may waive the requirement to relocate but only if the grantee obtains a written and signed waiver. (See Attachment 10-19: Sample Elderly Waiver for Relocation.)
The lead rule further requires that temporary dwellings not have lead-based paint hazards. Therefore, grantees are required to ensure that units used for temporary relocation are lead safe. This means that temporary housing units that were built after 1978 or have undergone a visual assessment and dust wipe sampling to ensure no lead hazards are present.
Temporary Relocation of Owner-Occupants in Rehabilitation Projects
An owner-occupant who participates in a CDBG grantee’s housing rehabilitation program is considered a voluntary action under the URA, provided code enforcement was not used to induce an owner- occupant to participate.
If a grantee chooses to provide temporary relocation assistance to owner-occupants, the grantee must adopt an Optional Temporary Relocation Assistance Policy.
Guidance for Owner-Occupant Temporary Relocation in Rehabilitation Projects
The grantee should develop written policies as early as possible in the application stage so occupants can make suitable arrangements to move from of their homes with the least amount of disruption. Because the URA does not cover owner-occupants who voluntarily participate in housing rehabilitation programs, the grantee has broad discretion regarding payments to owners during the period of temporary relocation. If a grantee chooses to provide temporary relocation assistance to owner-occupants through a “voluntary” CDBG Program, the grantee must adopt an optional relocation assistance policy. 24 CFR 570.488 & 24 CFR 570.606(d)(2)
The owner-occupant may be encouraged to stay with family or friends (noting the requirement to inspect these units to ensure the units are decent, safe and sanitary and lead-safe), but if there are circumstances in which there is no suitable alternative, and the owner would be faced with a hardship, the agency may set a policy that describes what constitutes a “hardship” and provide a certain level of financial assistance.
An agency may negotiate with various hotels to establish an attractive rate and pay the negotiated rate on the owner’s behalf. The hotel units must be decent, safe and sanitary, and cannot present a lead-paint hazard to occupants. Agencies should inspect the hotel units prior to signing an agreement to use them as a resource. In addition, agencies may provide a stipend for meals if the temporary unit does not have cooking facilities.
Temporary Relocation of Tenants in Rehabilitation Projects
Tenants are protected by the URA during temporary relocation. HUD’s Handbook 1378 suggests that at least 30 days advance notice be given to tenants prior to the temporary move. HUD Handbook 1378, Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-7. In addition, the tenant must be provided:
Reimbursement for all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the temporary relocation, including the cost of moving to and from the temporarily occupied housing and any increase in monthly rent/utility costs at such housing. (They are still responsible for paying their share of the rent for the unit undergoing renovation.)
Appropriate advisory services, including reasonable advance written notice of:
- The date and approximate duration of the temporary relocation;
- The address of the suitable, decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling to be made available for the temporary period;
- The terms and conditions under which the tenant may lease and occupy a suitable, decent, safe and sanitary dwelling in the building/complex upon completion of the project; and
- The provisions of reimbursement for all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.
The tenant must receive a Notice of Non-displacement (Attachment 10-6: Notice of Non-Displacement) which advises a person that they may be or will be temporarily relocated.
Once it becomes evident that the tenant will need to be temporarily relocated, the grantee should send a Temporary Relocation Notice to inform households who will be temporarily relocated of their rights and of the conditions of their temporary move. (See Attachment 10-20: Sample Temporary Relocation Notice.)
Tip: The Notice of Non-displacement is very important when dealing with temporary relocation because it helps prevent temporary moves from becoming permanent.
Guidance on Tenant Temporary Relocation
To assist with the temporary relocation of tenants, the grantee could encourage tenants to identify their own temporary housing (within the established guidelines), but ultimately the agency is responsible for finding suitable shelter until rehabilitation is complete. In addition, the agency could use hotel rooms and provide a meal stipend if there are no cooking facilities. The stipend could vary depending on the age of the children in the household (if any).
The terms and conditions of the temporary move must be reasonable, or the tenant may become “displaced.” The grantee should be aware that the temporary unit need not be comparable, but it must be suitable for the tenant’s needs. It must be inspected, found to be decent, safe, sanitary, and lead safe. Attachment 10-12: Section 8 Existing Housing Program Inspection Checklist may be used to document the inspection. If the tenant claims to be paying rent to a friend or family member, the grantee should document that rent was paid and the housing was suitable. The tenant must be provided adequate advance notice to move out of their unit and back when rehabilitation work is complete. A good rule of thumb suggested by CDFA is that temporary relocation is reasonable for six months or less. Anything in excess of one year is considered permanent displacement.
If the owner of the property is planning to raise the rent or offer a different unit in the property (that exceeds the greater of their former rent or 30% of gross monthly income), the tenant must be notified of these changes before moving back. If the cost of rehabilitation including lead hazard control work causes the rent to be increased and creates a rent burden (“economic displacement”), the tenant is protected by the URA and could be eligible for relocation assistance.
The term “economic displacement” is used to cover households who lived in the project prior to the federally-funded activity (acquisition or rehabilitation) and whose rent is raised resulting in a move because they can no longer afford to remain.
If the rent will be increased and the household can no longer afford to stay, the grantee should treat the household as a displaced person and provide them with all of the assistance outlined under Section 8-D including: Advisory Services, Moving Expenses, and a Replacement Housing Payment as needed