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Voluntary Acquisitions under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970

Voluntary versus Involuntary Acquisition

The real property acquisition requirements for direct Federal programs and projects, and those receiving Federal financial assistance are set forth in 49 CFR Part 24, Subpart B.[3] The requirements of Subpart B apply to any acquisition of real property that uses Federal financial assistance, except for acquisitions described in 49 CFR 24.101(b)(1)-(5) (outlined below). Such acquisitions are considered voluntary acquisitions. Property owners who sell their property in voluntary acquisitions are not displaced persons and are not eligible for relocation assistance and payment benefits. However, tenant occupants who are displaced as a result of the acquisition may be eligible for all applicable relocation benefits provided for under the URA.

Per 49 CFR 24.101, the following acquisitions are exempt from the requirements of Subpart B:

(b)(1) - The requirements of Subpart B do not apply to acquisitions that meet all of the following conditions in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (iv):

  1. No specific site or property needs to be acquired, although the Agency may limit its search for alternative sites to a general geographic area. Where an Agency wishes to purchase more than one site within a general geographic area on this basis, all owners are to be treated similarly. (See appendix A, §24.101(b)(1)(i).)
  2. The property to be acquired is not part of an intended, planned, or designated project area where all or substantially all of the property within the area is to be acquired within specific time limits.
  3. The Agency will not acquire the property if negotiations fail to result in an amicable agreement, and the owner is so informed in writing.
  4. The Agency will inform the owner in writing of what it believes to be the market value of the property.

(b)(2) - Acquisitions for programs or projects undertaken by an Agency or person that receives Federal financial assistance but does not have authority to acquire property by eminent domain, provided that such Agency or person shall:

  1. Prior to making an offer for the property, clearly advise the owner that it is unable to acquire the property if negotiations fail to result in an agreement; and
  2. Inform the owner in writing of what it believes to be the market value of the property. (See appendix A, §24.101(b)(1)(iv) and (2)(ii).)

(b)(3) The acquisition of real property from a Federal Agency, State, or State Agency, if the Agency desiring to make the purchase does not have authority to acquire the property through condemnation.

(b)(4)The acquisition of real property by a cooperative from a person who, as a condition of membership in the cooperative, has agreed to provide without charge any real property that is needed by the cooperative.

(b)(5) Acquisition for a program or project that receives Federal financial assistance from the Tennessee Valley Authority or the Rural Utilities Service.

The primary focus of this research was acquisitions described in 49 CFR 24.101(b)(1) and (2). Figures 1 and 2 outline the voluntary acquisition process for these types of acquisitions.

Figure 1: Flowchart of Process for Acquisitions Described in 49 CFR 24.101 (b)(1)

Figure 1: Flowchart of Process for Acquisitions Described in 49 CFR 24.101 (b)(1) Click image for text version

Figure 2: Flowchart of Process for Acquisitions Described in 49 CFR 24.101 (b)(2)

Figure 2: Flowchart of Process for Acquisitions Described in 49 CFR 24.101 (b)(2) Click image for text version

Updated: 09/05/2014
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