Introduction to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA)

Introduction to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA)


Hi Bill, I am glad I caught you
in your office. The boss has just informed me
that our Agency is receiving a HUD grant to assist us in
rehabilitating that old apartment building on First
Street for an affordable
housing development. It looks like I am the one who
will be handling the project. He mentioned something about
the URA and our need to develop a
Relocation Plan for the project and then he suggested I talk
to you. Can you help me? Well it has been a year or two since I worked on a project
like this under the URA. In fact, I did a presentation
about it for our Board of
Directors a while back. Let me find that presentation and it will help me to walk you
through what the law generally
requires. Sure…here it is my presentation on the
Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition
Policies Act of 1970. The title is long, but most
people just call it the Uniform
Act, or URA, for short. So how did a law like that come
into being? Ah, a good question. It seems that Congress wanted
to establish uniformity among Federal agencies and
their funding recipients when acquiring real property and relocating persons for
Federally funded projects Thus the name, Uniform Act. A key objective of the URA is
fair and equitable treatment of those who are impacted
by the project. The URA rules generally
apply whether it’s a federal
agency buying the property or a local agency like ours
using federal funds for
acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition activities If there’s federal money
in the project, then the URA
likely applies although there are some
limited exceptions And one important thing to keep
in mind is that even if the federal
funds are not used specifically
to fund these activities the URA rules may still apply. Ohh… So, that would include a
lot of projects and potentially
a lot of situations. Yes, I think that might have
been the intent of Congress
when they passed the law. And it goes beyond just
affecting how you buy property, it also provides relocation
assistance and payments to
people who must move permanently
or temporarily because of
the project. This includes owners, tenants
and businesses. This provision was intended
to lessen the project’s impact on existing occupants. It assures that they will
receive fair and equitable
treatment. This is great Bill, but I need
to take some notes. So, the URA is more properly
referred to as the Uniform Relocation
Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act
of 1970, as amended. It was intended to encourage
amicable agreement with owners for the purchase
of property and assure that owners
and occupants are well informed throughout
the process. I think you mentioned
fairness and consistency
as being important. And lastly, the URA seeks to provide
uniform, fair, and equitable treatment, as well as avoid
disproportionate impacts to people who must
move because of the project. It accomplishes this through wr, advisory services and payments. You have the key points, but I will add a few more
clarifications for your notes. Like most laws, this one has
been amended several times. The most recent amendment
was in 2012. And keep in mind that the URA
has specific requirements based on whether an acquisition
is involuntary – under the threat or use of
eminent domain – or voluntary. Some of those requirements
include a need for unbiased
appraisals, a review of those appraisals, written offers, and negotiations in good faith. There’s a lot more you need
to know about before
getting started. Relocation assistance includes
advisory services and reimbursement for the costs
of moving personal property
for owners, tenants, and businesses. Persons displaced from
their dwelling are also assured that replacement housing is
available through replacement
housing payments And don’t forget, the URA has different
requirements if someone must move
temporarily for a project, and will be able to move back. Wh atWe tllyp,e typically require our agency
to follow the URA? d First, remember we said that
generally acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition fo
a Federally-funded project requires us to follow the URA. There is a long list of URA
projects we have completed, but it includes our recent CDBG
funded water & sewer line
improvement project, our HOME funded 1st time
homebuyer assistance program, and the HOME funded acquisition
and demolition of the old motel on Second Ave for new
construction of affordable hous. Although our Office doesn’t
handle all the City’s HUD
funded projects, other projects could be covered, for instance, by the Metro
Public Housing Authority. Keep in mind, if there is a need to buy
real estate or relocate people for a
Federally-funded project,

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