Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
PlanningEnvironmentReal Estate

HEP Events Guidance Publications Awards Contacts

What is Realty?

People's lives are enhanced by highways and other transportation infrastructure serving our communities and country. Sometimes the need to improve transportation infrastructure for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods requires acquisition of private property and the displacement of persons from their homes, farms, and businesses. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires payment of just compensation for private property rights acquired for a public purpose such as transportation infrastructure. The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, provides further assistance to property owners and persons displaced as a result of Federally-funded programs and projects.

As applied to the programs and projects of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), "Realty" is the term commonly used to refer to all phases of the transportation decision-making process that involve real property, including:

Public Sector real estate professionals in both FHWA and SDOTs also administer the Highway Beautification Act to control off-premise outdoor advertising and junkyards.

The information on these web pages is a resource on FHWA programs and activities for displaced persons, highway transportation professionals, and public and private right-of-way professionals, as well as other stakeholders in transportation, Uniform Act and Highway Beautification activities.

We welcome suggestions on how we can make these pages more useful to you, and how our programs might be improved. You may email comments and suggestions to Mary Jane Daluge at For additional information, please visit the home page of FHWA's Office of Real Estate Services at or browse the key resources and organizations listed below:

Updated: 3/13/2015
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000