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Side-by-side Comparisons of Changes to the Uniform Act FAQ

Subpart A

UNIFORM ACT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
2005 August 2005 January 25, 2007  
Original Text Interim Text Final Text Comments
Side by Side Comparison of FAQ’s  
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Moved: Italics
Deleted: Strikethrough
New: Red Bold
 
SUBPART A -- GENERAL  

49 CFR 24.2(d)(3). If it is "culturally" a part of the lifestyle for six children to share a bedroom, would it be acceptable to base the computation of the replacement housing payment on a dwelling that would require the six children to share a bedroom?

No. The comparable must reflect appropriate local housing codes or the requirements of 24.2(f). Displaced persons would have to insist on non-DSS replacement housing and then the displacing agency would have to request a waiver of the DSS requirements from the funding agency under 49 CFR 24.7.

    Deleted
   

6. Appendix A. The word "should" is used. Does this mean that the appendix provisions are suggestions rather than requirements?

Appendix A is an integral part of the regulation. While it does not impose additional mandatory requirements, it provides important guidance and information concerning the purpose, intent and implementation of many of the provisions in the regulation. "Should," when used in the appendix to describe a mandatory requirement of the regulation, cannot alter or reduce that requirement. When used to provide guidance, it explains how a regulatory provision is to be implemented under most circumstances.

 
   

7. §24.2(a)(6). In localities where houses sell for a premium over the list price, can the relocation agent adjust the relocation housing payment to account for this premium?

The regulation does not call for adjusting the asking price, either upward or downward. The regulation does say the comparable must be available. If a comparable is not available for the amount calculated, a new calculation may be in order.

 
 

1. 49 CFR 24.2(a)(6)(ix) and Appendix A, Subpart A, reference Section 24.2(a)(6)(ix). Can the displaced occupant of a public housing unit be offered other public housing units as comparable replacement housing?

Yes. A person displaced from a public housing project may be offered a comparable public housing unit as a replacement dwelling or they may be offered a unit subsidized under another housing program (e.g., Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher). Only if no subsidized housing is available should a subsidized tenant be offered a non-subsidized unit as a comparable. A person who is displaced from subsidized housing and placed in private-market housing will potentially lose the security of affordable housing after the 42-month Uniform Act payment is exhausted. While the Uniform Act replacement housing payment softens the blow of a move, after the payment is exhausted a formerly-subsidized tenant may not be able or eligible to return to subsidized housing (either because no subsidized units are available or because their income exceeds the admission income limits). For this reason, every effort should be made to find another subsidized unit as replacement housing so that the tenant will continue receiving the housing subsidy as long as it is needed.

8. §24.2(a)(6)(ix) and appendix A, Subpart A, §24.2(a)(6)(ix). Can the displaced occupant of a public housing unit be offered other public housing units as comparable replacement housing?

Yes. A person displaced from a public housing project may be offered a comparable public housing unit as a replacement dwelling or they may be offered a unit subsidized under another housing program, e.g., Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. Only if no subsidized housing is available should a subsidized tenant be offered a non-subsidized unit as a comparable. A person who is displaced from subsidized housing and placed in private-market housing will potentially lose the security of affordable housing after the 42-month Uniform Act payment is exhausted. While the Uniform Act replacement housing payment softens the blow of a move, after the payment is exhausted a formerly-subsidized tenant may not be able or eligible to return to subsidized housing, either because no subsidized units are available or because their income exceeds the admission income limits. For this reason, every effort should be made to find another subsidized unit as replacement housing so that the tenant will continue receiving the housing subsidy as long as it is needed.

 
 

2. How does the change in § 24.2(a)(6)(viii)(C) [part of the definition of comparable replacement dwelling] change the treatment of "less than 90-day occupants" or "subsequent occupants"?

Displaced persons failing to meet the length of occupancy requirements continue to be eligible for relocation benefits under last resort housing. What has changed is how the benefit is calculated. Benefits for low-income tenants will still be calculated using the 30% of income rule contained in § 24.402(b)(2). For others who are not low income, the calculation will be rent-to-rent. The reason for the change, as noted in the Preamble to the final rule, is to ensure consistent treatment of displacees. Across an agency's programs, the net effect of the change in the 30% rule is expected to be a reduction in financial liability. However, with respect to some individual displacees who do not meet the length of occupancy requirements, the calculation of benefits may result in a higher payment under the final rule than under the former rule. Agencies may wish to consider using loss-of-rent agreements to limit and manage financial liability when they believe that there is substantial risk that a subsequent occupant situation will occur.

Under the last resort housing provision § 24.404(c) and the downpayment assistance § 24.402(c)(1), the less than 90-day occupant or subsequent occupant rental assistance can be converted to a downpayment to purchase at the discretion of the agency on a case-by-case basis. However, the payment to a displaced homeowner shall not exceed the amount the owner would receive under § 24.401(b) if he or she met the 180-day occupancy requirement. The agency shall apply this discretion in a uniform and consistent manner.

If you require further clarification on the less than 90-day occupants or subsequent occupants, please contact your funding agency.

  Moved to Question #86
   

9. §24.2(a)(8). Can an eligible displaced person ever occupy a non-decent, safe and sanitary (DSS) replacement dwelling and still receive a replacement housing payment?

No, unless one or a very few of the DSS conditions listed in §24.2(a)(8) were waived under §24.7 or §24.2(a)(8), so that the dwelling could then be considered to be DSS. However, all the DSS conditions could not be waived.

 

49 CFR 24.2(g)(1)(I). Can an eligible displaced person be paid relocation benefits prior to completion of negotiations or acquisition of the property that they occupy?

Yes. Persons who move as a result of the initiation of negotiations are eligible dis-placed persons entitled to benefits and should be paid promptly. Payments to such persons are eligible for Federal funding or reimbursement at the time that residential occupants move to DSS dwellings adequate to accommodate them or non-residential occupants vacate the property.

 

10. §24.2(a)(9)(A).Can an eligible displaced person be paid relocation benefits prior to completion of negotiations or acquisition of the property that they occupy?

Yes. Persons who move as a result of the initiation of negotiations are eligible displaced persons entitled to benefits and should be paid promptly. Payments to such persons are eligible for Federal funding or reimbursement at the time that residential occupants move to DSS dwellings adequate to accommodate them or non-residential occupants vacate the property

 
 

3. What do I look for in determining whether there is a written agreement that meets the requirements in § 24.2(a)(15)(iv) [part of the definition of initiation of negotiations] forestablishing tenant eligibility for relocation payments?

The written agreement must bind the acquiring agency to purchase the property from which a tenant would be displaced. That is, both the agency and the property owner are subject to legally enforceable commitments to proceed with the purchase.

11. §24.2(a)(15)(iv).What do I look for in determining whether there is a written agreement that meets the definition of initiation of negotiations in order to establish tenant eligibility for relocation payments?

The written agreement must bind the agency to purchase the property from which a tenant would be displaced. That is, both the agency and the property owner are subject to legally enforceable commitments to proceed with the purchase.

 
Updated: 09/05/2014
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