The page you requested has moved and you've automatically been taken to its new location.

Please update your link or bookmark after closing this notice.

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

What is Realty?

People's lives are affected daily 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 necessitates the acquisition of private property rights and the displacement of persons from their homes, farms, and businesses. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the 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 transportation 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- from cost estimating, acquisition and relocation impacts in the environmental phase, right- of- way acquisition and relocation to certify that a project can proceed to construction, management and disposal of excess land and airspace leasing of right-of-way. Public Sector real estate professionals in both FHWA and SDOTs are also required to administer the Highway Beautification Act to control off-premise outdoor advertising.

The information on these web pages is a resource on FHWA programs and activities for property owners, displaced persons, highway transportation professionals, public and private right-of-way program professionals, and others interested in the acquisition of real estate for highway infrastructure improvement. and stakeholders in transportation, Uniform Act and Outdoor Advertising control activities.

You are invited to browse and use this information. 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: 9/4/2014
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000