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Your Rights and Benefits as a Displaced Person under the Federal Relocation Assistance Program


This publication was superseded October 2014. This version was retained for archival purposes.

June 2005

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Government programs designed to benefit the public as a whole often result in acquisition of private property, and sometimes in the displacement of people from their residences, businesses, nonprofit organizations, or farms.

To provide uniform and equitable treatment for persons displaced, Congress passed the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, and amended it in 1987. This law, called the Uniform Act, is the foundation for the information discussed in this brochure.

Acquisition and relocation policies and provisions for all Federal and federally assisted programs and projects are contained in the government-wide rule published in the Federal Register on January 4, 2005. The rules are reprinted each year in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 49, Part 24. All Federal, State, local government agencies, and others receiving Federal financial assistance for public programs and projects that require the acquisition of real property must comply with the policies and provisions set forth in the Uniform Act and the regulation.

The acquisition itself does not need to be federally funded for the rules to apply. If Federal funds are used in any phase of the program or project, the rules of the Uniform Act apply.

Section 1 of this brochure provides information about relocation assistance advisory service. Section 2 contains information important to you if you are being displaced from a residence. Section 3 contains information for displaced businesses, farms, and nonprofit organizations.

If you are required to move as a result of a Federal or federally assisted program or project, a relocation counselor will contact you. The counselor will answer your specific questions and provide additional information you may need. If you have a disability that prevents you from reading or understanding this brochure, you will be provided appropriate assistance. You should notify the sponsoring Agency if you have special requirements for assistance.

This brochure explains your rights as an owner of real property to be acquired for a federally funded program or project. The requirements for acquisition of property are explained in a brochure entitled Acquisition, Acquiring Real Property for Federal and Federal-aid Programs and Projects. Acquisition and relocation information can be found on the Federal Highway Administration Office of Real Estate Services website

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Important Terms Used in this Brochure

Relocation assistance advisory services and payments are administered at the local level by an Agency responsible for the acquisition of real property and/or the displacement of people from property to be used for a federally funded program or project. The Agency may be a Federal agency, a State agency, a local agency, such as a county or a city, or a person carrying out a program or project with Federal financial assistance. The Agency may contract with a qualified individual or firm to administer the relocation program. However, the Agency remains responsible for the program.
Alien Not Lawfully Present
The law provides that if a displaced person is an alien not lawfully present in the United States such person is not eligible for relocation payments or assistance under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act, unless ineligibility would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien's spouse, parent or child, and such spouse, parent or child is a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
Any lawful activity, with the exception of a farm operation, conducted primarily for the purchase, sale, lease, and rental of personal or real property; or for the manufacture, processing, and/or marketing of products, commodities, or any other personal property; or for the sale of services to the public; or solely for the purpose of the Uniform Relocation Assistance Act, an outdoor advertising display or displays, when the display(s) must be moved as a result of the project.
Displaced Person
Any person (individual, family, partnership, association or corporation) who moves from real property, or moves personal property from real property as a direct result of (1) the acquisition of the real property, in whole or in part, (2) a written notice from the Agency of its intent to acquire, (3) the initiation of negotiations for the purchase of the real property by the Agency, or (4) a written notice requiring a person to vacate real property for the purpose of rehabilitation or demolition of improvements, provided the displacement is permanent and the property is needed for a Federal or federally assisted program or project.
Any activity conducted solely or primarily for the production of one or more agricultural products or commodities, including timber, for sale and home use, and customarily producing such products or commodities in sufficient quantity to be capable of contributing materially to the operator's support.
Nonprofit Organization
A public or private entity that has established its nonprofit status under applicable Federal or State law.
Program or Project
An activity or series of activities undertaken by a Federal agency, or an activity undertaken by a State or local agency with Federal financial assistance in any phase of the activity.
Small Business
A business having not more than 500 employees working at a site which is the location of economic activity and which will be acquired for a program or project, or is displaced by a program or project. A site occupied solely by an outdoor advertising sign(s) does not qualify for purposes of the reestablishment expense benefit.
Updated: 5/8/2015
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