49 CFR Appendix A to Part 24 - Additional Information

Appendix A to Part 24 - Additional Information

This appendix provides additional information to explain the intent of certain provisions of this part.

Subpart A - General

Section 24.2 Definitions and Acronyms

Section 24.2(a)(6) Definition of comparable replacement dwelling. The requirement in § 24.2(a)(6)(ii) that a comparable replacement dwelling be “functionally equivalent” to the displacement dwelling means that it must perform the same function, and provide the same utility. While it need not possess every feature of the displacement dwelling, the principal features must be present.

For example, if the displacement dwelling contains a pantry and a similar dwelling is not available, a replacement dwelling with ample kitchen cupboards may be acceptable. Insulated and heated space in a garage might prove an adequate substitute for basement workshop space. A dining area may substitute for a separate dining room. Under some circumstances, attic space could substitute for basement space for storage purposes, and vice versa.

Only in unusual circumstances may a comparable replacement dwelling contain fewer rooms or, consequentially, less living space than the displacement dwelling. Such may be the case when a decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling (which by definition is “adequate to accommodate” the displaced person) may be found to be “functionally equivalent” to a larger but very run-down substandard displacement dwelling. Another example is when a displaced person accepts an offer of government housing assistance and the applicable requirements of such housing assistance program require that the displaced person occupy a dwelling that has fewer rooms or less living space than the displacement dwelling.

Section 24.2(a)(6)(vii). The definition of comparable replacement dwelling requires that a comparable replacement dwelling for a person who is not receiving assistance under any government housing program before displacement must be currently available on the private market without any subsidy under a government housing program.

Section 24.2(a)(6)(ix). A public housing unit may qualify as a comparable replacement dwelling only for a person displaced from a public housing unit. A privately owned dwelling with a housing program subsidy tied to the unit may qualify as a comparable replacement dwelling only for a person displaced from a similarly subsidized unit or public housing.

A housing program subsidy that is paid to a person (not tied to the building), such as a HUD Section 8 Housing Voucher Program, may be reflected in an offer of a comparable replacement dwelling to a person receiving a similar subsidy or occupying a privately owned subsidized unit or public housing unit before displacement.

However, nothing in this part prohibits an Agency from offering, or precludes a person from accepting, assistance under a government housing program, even if the person did not receive similar assistance before displacement. However, the Agency is obligated to inform the person of his or her options under this part. (If a person accepts assistance under a government housing assistance program, the rules of that program governing the size of the dwelling apply, and the rental assistance payment under § 24.402 would be computed on the basis of the person's actual out-of-pocket cost for the replacement housing.)

Section 24.2(a)(8)(ii) Decent, Safe and Sanitary. Many local housing and occupancy codes require the abatement of deteriorating paint, including lead-based paint and lead-based paint dust, in protecting the public health and safety. Where such standards exist, they must be honored. Even where local law does not mandate adherence to such standards, it is strongly recommended that they be considered as a matter of public policy.

Section 24.2(a)(8)(vii) Persons with a disability. Reasonable accommodation of a displaced person with a disability at the replacement dwelling means the Agency is required to address persons with a physical impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities. In these situations, reasonable accommodation should include the following at a minimum: Doors of adequate width; ramps or other assistance devices to traverse stairs and access bathtubs, shower stalls, toilets and sinks; storage cabinets, vanities, sink and mirrors at appropriate heights. Kitchen accommodations will include sinks and storage cabinets built at appropriate heights for access. The Agency shall also consider other items that may be necessary, such as physical modification to a unit, based on the displaced person's needs.

Section 24.2(a)(9)(ii)(D) Persons not displaced. Paragraph (a)(9)(ii)(D) of this section recognizes that there are circumstances where the acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition of real property takes place without the intent or necessity that an occupant of the property be permanently displaced. Because such occupants are not considered “displaced persons” under this part, great care must be exercised to ensure that they are treated fairly and equitably. For example, if the tenant-occupant of a dwelling will not be displaced, but is required to relocate temporarily in connection with the project, the temporarily occupied housing must be decent, safe, and sanitary and the tenant must be reimbursed for all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the temporary relocation. These expenses may include moving expenses and increased housing costs during the temporary relocation. Temporary relocation should not extend beyond one year before the person is returned to his or her previous unit or location. The Agency must contact any residential tenant who has been temporarily relocated for a period beyond one year and offer all permanent relocation assistance. This assistance would be in addition to any assistance the person has already received for temporary relocation, and may not be reduced by the amount of any temporary relocation assistance.

Similarly, if a business will be shut-down for any length of time due to rehabilitation of a site, it may be temporarily relocated and reimbursed for all reasonable out of pocket expenses or must be determined to be displaced at the Agency's option.

Any person who disagrees with the Agency's determination that he or she is not a displaced person under this part may file an appeal in accordance with 49 CFR part 24.10 of this regulation.

Section 24.2(a)(11) Dwelling Site. This definition ensures that the computation of replacement housing payments are accurate and realistic (a) when the dwelling is located on a larger than normal site, (b) when mixed-use properties are acquired, (c) when more than one dwelling is located on the acquired property, or (d) when the replacement dwelling is retained by an owner and moved to another site.

Section 24.2(a)(14) Household income (exclusions). Household income for purposes of this regulation does not include program benefits that are not considered income by Federal law such as food stamps and the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program. For a more detailed list of income exclusions see Federal Highway Administration, Office of Real Estate Services Web site: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/. (FR 4644-N-16 page 20319 Updated.) If there is a question on whether or not to include income from a specific program contact the Federal Agency administering the program.

Section 24(a)(15) Initiation of negotiations. This section provides a special definition for acquisition and displacements under Pub. L. 96-510 or Superfund. The order of activities under Superfund may differ slightly in that temporary relocation may precede acquisition. Superfund is a program designed to clean up hazardous waste sites. When such a site is discovered, it may be necessary, in certain limited circumstances, to alert individual owners and tenants to potential health or safety threats and to offer to temporarily relocate them while additional information is gathered. If a decision is later made to permanently relocate such persons, those who had been temporarily relocated under Superfund authority would no longer be on site when a formal, written offer to acquire the property was made, and thus would lose their eligibility for a replacement housing payment. In order to prevent this unfair outcome, we have provided a definition of initiation of negotiation, which is based on the date the Federal Government offers to temporarily relocate an owner or tenant from the subject property.

Section 24.2(a)(15)(iv) Initiation of negotiations (Tenants.) Tenants who occupy property that may be acquired amicably, without recourse to the use of the power of eminent domain, must be fully informed as to their eligibility for relocation assistance. This includes notifying such tenants of their potential eligibility when negotiations are initiated, notifying them if they become fully eligible, and, in the event the purchase of the property will not occur, notifying them that they are no longer eligible for relocation benefits. If a tenant is not readily accessible, as the result of a disaster or emergency, the Agency must make a good faith effort to provide these notifications and document its efforts in writing.

Section 24.2(a)(17) Mobile home. The following examples provide additional guidance on the types of mobile homes and manufactured housing that can be found acceptable as comparable replacement dwellings for persons displaced from mobile homes. A recreational vehicle that is capable of providing living accommodations may be considered a replacement dwelling if the following criteria are met: the recreational vehicle is purchased and occupied as the “primary” place of residence; it is located on a purchased or leased site and connected to or have available all necessary utilities for functioning as a housing unit on the date of the displacing Agency's inspection; and, the dwelling, as sited, meets all local, State, and Federal requirements for a decent, safe and sanitary dwelling. (The regulations of some local jurisdictions will not permit the consideration of these vehicles as decent, safe and sanitary dwellings. In those cases, the recreational vehicle will not qualify as a replacement dwelling.)

For HUD programs, mobile home is defined as “a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width or forty body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is three hundred or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein; except that such terms shall include any structure which meets all the requirements of this paragraph except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the Secretary of HUD and complies with the standards established under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act, provided by Congress in the original 1974 Manufactured Housing Act.” In 1979 the term “mobile home” was changed to “manufactured home.” For purposes of this regulation, the terms mobile home and manufactured home are synonymous.

When assembled, manufactured homes built after 1976 contain no less than 320 square feet. They may be single or multi-sectioned units when installed. Their designation as personalty or realty will be determined by State law. When determined to be realty, most are eligible for conventional mortgage financing.

The 1976 HUD standards distinguish manufactured homes from factory-built “modular homes” as well as conventional or “stick-built” homes. Both of these types of housing are required to meet State and local construction codes.

Section 24.3 No Duplication of Payments. This section prohibits an Agency from making a payment to a person under these regulations that would duplicate another payment the person receives under Federal, State, or local law. The Agency is not required to conduct an exhaustive search for such other payments; it is only required to avoid creating a duplication based on the Agency's knowledge at the time a payment is computed.

Subpart B - Real Property Acquisition

Federal Agencies may find that, for Federal eminent domain purposes, the terms “fair market value” (as used throughout this subpart) and “market value,” which may be the more typical term in private transactions, may be synonymous.

Section 24.101(a) Direct Federal program or project. All 49 CFR Part 24 Subpart B (real property acquisition) requirements apply to all direct acquisitions for Federal programs and projects by Federal Agencies, except for acquisitions undertaken by the Tennessee Valley Authority or the Rural Utilities Service. There are no exceptions for “voluntary transactions.”

Section 24.101(b)(1)(i). The term “general geographic area” is used to clarify that the “geographic area” is not to be construed to be a small, limited area.

Sections 24.101(b)(1)(iv) and (2)(ii). These sections provide that, for programs and projects receiving Federal financial assistance described in §§ 24.101(b)(1) and (2), Agencies are to inform the owner(s) in writing of the Agency's estimate of the fair market value for the property to be acquired.

While this part does not require an appraisal for these transactions, Agencies may still decide that an appraisal is necessary to support their determination of the market value of these properties, and, in any event, Agencies must have some reasonable basis for their determination of market value. In addition, some of the concepts inherent in Federal Program appraisal practice are appropriate for these estimates. It would be appropriate for Agencies to adhere to project influence restrictions, as well as guard against discredited “public interest value” valuation concepts.

After an Agency has established an amount it believes to be the market value of the property and has notified the owner of this amount in writing, an Agency may negotiate freely with the owner in order to reach agreement. Since these transactions are voluntary, accomplished by a willing buyer and a willing seller, negotiations may result in agreement for the amount of the original estimate, an amount exceeding it, or for a lesser amount. Although not required by the regulations, it would be entirely appropriate for Agencies to apply the administrative settlement concept and procedures in § 24.102(i) to negotiate amounts that exceed the original estimate of market value. Agencies shall not take any coercive action in order to reach agreement on the price to be paid for the property.

Section 24.101(c) Less-than-full-fee interest in real property. This provision provides a benchmark beyond which the requirements of the subpart clearly apply to leases.

Section 24.102(c)(2) Appraisal, waiver thereof, and invitation to owner. The purpose of the appraisal waiver provision is to provide Agencies a technique to avoid the costs and time delay associated with appraisal requirements for low-value, non-complex acquisitions. The intent is that non-appraisers make the waiver valuations, freeing appraisers to do more sophisticated work.

The Agency employee making the determination to use the appraisal waiver process must have enough understanding of appraisal principles to be able to determine whether or not the proposed acquisition is low value and uncomplicated.

Waiver valuations are not appraisals as defined by the Uniform Act and these regulations; therefore, appraisal performance requirements or standards, regardless of their source, are not required for waiver valuations by this rule. Since waiver valuations are not appraisals, neither is there a requirement for an appraisal review. However, the Agency must have a reasonable basis for the waiver valuation and an Agency official must still establish an amount believed to be just compensation to offer the property owner(s).

The definition of “appraisal” in the Uniform Act and appraisal waiver provisions of the Uniform Act and these regulations are Federal law and public policy and should be considered as such when determining the impact of appraisal requirements levied by others.

Section 24.102(d) Establishment of offer of just compensation. The initial offer to the property owner may not be less than the amount of the Agency's approved appraisal, but may exceed that amount if the Agency determines that a greater amount reflects just compensation for the property.

Section 24.102(f) Basic negotiation procedures. An offer should be adequately presented to an owner, and the owner should be properly informed. Personal, face-to-face contact should take place, if feasible, but this section does not require such contact in all cases.

This section also provides that the property owner be given a reasonable opportunity to consider the Agency's offer and to present relevant material to the Agency. In order to satisfy this requirement, Agencies must allow owners time for analysis, research and development, and compilation of a response, including perhaps getting an appraisal. The needed time can vary significantly, depending on the circumstances, but thirty (30) days would seem to be the minimum time these actions can be reasonably expected to require. Regardless of project time pressures, property owners must be afforded this opportunity.

In some jurisdictions, there is pressure to initiate formal eminent domain procedures at the earliest opportunity because completing the eminent domain process, including gaining possession of the needed real property, is very time consuming. These provisions are not intended to restrict this practice, so long as it does not interfere with the reasonable time that must be provided for negotiations, described above, and the Agencies adhere to the Uniform Act ban on coercive action (section 301(7) of the Uniform Act).

If the owner expresses intent to provide an appraisal report, Agencies are encouraged to provide the owner and/or his/her appraiser a copy of Agency appraisal requirements and inform them that their appraisal should be based on those requirements.

Section 24.102(i) Administrative settlement. This section provides guidance on administrative settlement as an alternative to judicial resolution of a difference of opinion on the value of a property, in order to avoid unnecessary litigation and congestion in the courts.

All relevant facts and circumstances should be considered by an Agency official delegated this authority. Appraisers, including review appraisers, must not be pressured to adjust their estimate of value for the purpose of justifying such settlements. Such action would invalidate the appraisal process.

Section 24.102(j) Payment before taking possession. It is intended that a right-of-entry for construction purposes be obtained only in the exceptional case, such as an emergency project, when there is no time to make an appraisal and purchase offer and the property owner is agreeable to the process.

Section 24.102(m) Fair rental. Section 301(6) of the Uniform Act limits what an Agency may charge when a former owner or previous occupant of a property is permitted to rent the property for a short term or when occupancy is subject to termination by the Agency on short notice. Such rent may not exceed “the fair rental value of the property to a short-term occupier.” Generally, the Agency's right to terminate occupancy on short notice (whether or not the renter also has that right) supports the establishment of a lesser rental than might be found in a longer, fixed-term situation.

Section 24.102(n) Conflict of interest. The overall objective is to minimize the risk of fraud while allowing Agencies to operate as efficiently as possible. There are three parts to this provision.

The first provision is the prohibition against having any interest in the real property being valued by the appraiser (for an appraisal), the valuer (for a waiver estimate) or the review appraiser (for an appraisal review.)

The second provision is that no person functioning as a negotiator for a project or program can supervise or formally evaluate the performance of any appraiser or review appraiser performing appraisal or appraisal review work for that project or program. The intent of this provision is to ensure appraisal/valuation independence and to prevent inappropriate influence. It is not intended to prevent Agencies from providing appraisers/valuers with appropriate project information and participating in determining the scope of work for the appraisal or valuation. For a program or project receiving Federal financial assistance, the Federal funding Agency may waive this requirement if it would create a hardship for the Agency. The intent is to accommodate Federal-aid recipients that have a small staff where this provision would be unworkable.

The third provision is to minimize situations where administrative costs exceed acquisition costs. Section 24.102(n) also provides that the same person may prepare a valuation estimate (including an appraisal) and negotiate that acquisition, if the valuation estimate amount is $10,000 or less. However, it should be noted that this exception for properties valued at $10,000 or less is not mandatory, e.g., Agencies are not required to use those who prepare a waiver valuation or appraisal of $10,000 or less to negotiate the acquisition, and, all appraisals must be reviewed in accordance with § 24.104. This includes appraisals of real property valued at $10,000 or less.

Section 24.103 Criteria for Appraisals. The term “requirements” is used throughout this section to avoid confusion with The Appraisal Foundation's Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) “standards.” Although this section discusses appraisal requirements, the definition of “appraisal” itself at § 24.2(a)(3) includes appraisal performance requirements that are an inherent part of this section.

The term “Federal and federally-assisted program or project” is used to better identify the type of appraisal practices that are to be referenced and to differentiate them from the private sector, especially mortgage lending, appraisal practice.

Section 24.103(a) Appraisal requirements. The first sentence instructs readers that requirements for appraisals for Federal and federally-assisted programs or projects are located in 49 CFR part 24. These are the basic appraisal requirements for Federal and federally-assisted programs or projects. However, Agencies may enhance and expand on them, and there may be specific project or program legislation that references other appraisal requirements.

These appraisal requirements are necessarily designed to comply with the Uniform Act and other Federal eminent domain based appraisal requirements. They are also considered to be consistent with Standards Rules 1, 2, and 3 of the 2004 edition of the USPAP. Consistency with USPAP has been a feature of these appraisal requirements since the beginning of USPAP. This “consistent” relationship was more formally recognized in OMB Bulletin 92-06. While these requirements are considered consistent with USPAP, neither can supplant the other; their provisions are neither identical, nor interchangeable. Appraisals performed for Federal and federally-assisted real property acquisition must follow the requirements in this regulation. Compliance with any other appraisal requirements is not the purview of this regulation. An appraiser who is committed to working within the bounds of USPAP should recognize that compliance with both USPAP and these requirements may be achieved by using the Supplemental Standards Rule and the Jurisdictional Exception Rule of USPAP, where applicable.

The term “scope of work” defines the general parameters of the appraisal. It reflects the needs of the Agency and the requirements of Federal and federally-assisted program appraisal practice. It should be developed cooperatively by the assigned appraiser and an Agency official who is competent to both represent the Agency's needs and respect valid appraisal practice. The scope of work statement should include the purpose and/or function of the appraisal, a definition of the estate being appraised, and if it is fair market value, its applicable definition, and the assumptions and limiting conditions affecting the appraisal. It may include parameters for the data search and identification of the technology, including approaches to value, to be used to analyze the data. The scope of work should consider the specific requirements in 49 CFR 24.103(a)(2)(i) through (v) and address them as appropriate.

Section 24.103(a)(1). The appraisal report should identify the items considered in the appraisal to be real property, as well as those identified as personal property.

Section 24.103(a)(2). All relevant and reliable approaches to value are to be used. However, where an Agency determines that the sales comparison approach will be adequate by itself and yield credible appraisal results because of the type of property being appraised and the availability of sales data, it may limit the appraisal assignment to the sales comparison approach. This should be reflected in the scope of work.

Section 24.103(b) Influence of the project on just compensation. As used in this section, the term “project” means an undertaking which is planned, designed, and intended to operate as a unit.

When the public is aware of the proposed project, project area property values may be affected. Therefore, property owners should not be penalized because of a decrease in value caused by the proposed project nor reap a windfall at public expense because of increased value created by the proposed project.

Section 24.103(d)(1). The appraiser and review appraiser must each be qualified and competent to perform the appraisal and appraisal review assignments, respectively. Among other qualifications, State licensing or certification and professional society designations can help provide an indication of an appraiser's abilities.

Section 24.104 Review of appraisals. The term “review appraiser” is used rather than “reviewing appraiser,” to emphasize that “review appraiser” is a separate specialty and not just an appraiser who happens to be reviewing an appraisal. Federal Agencies have long held the perspective that appraisal review is a unique skill that, while it certainly builds on appraisal skills, requires more. The review appraiser should possess both appraisal technical abilities and the ability to be the two-way bridge between the Agency's real property valuation needs and the appraiser.

Agency review appraisers typically perform a role greater than technical appraisal review. They are often involved in early project development. Later they may be involved in devising the scope of work statements and participate in making appraisal assignments to fee and/or staff appraisers. They are also mentors and technical advisors, especially on Agency policy and requirements, to appraisers, both staff and fee. Additionally, review appraisers are frequently technical advisors to other Agency officials.

Section 24.104(a). This paragraph states that the review appraiser is to review the appraiser's presentation and analysis of market information and that it is to be reviewed against § 24.103 and other applicable requirements, including, to the extent appropriate, the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisition. The appraisal review is to be a technical review by an appropriately qualified review appraiser. The qualifications of the review appraiser and the level of explanation of the basis for the review appraiser's recommended (or approved) value depend on the complexity of the appraisal problem. If the initial appraisal submitted for review is not acceptable, the review appraiser is to communicate and work with the appraiser to the greatest extent possible to facilitate the appraiser's development of an acceptable appraisal.

In doing this, the review appraiser is to remain in an advisory role, not directing the appraisal, and retaining objectivity and options for the appraisal review itself.

If the Agency intends that the staff review appraiser approve the appraisal (as the basis for the establishment of the amount believed to be just compensation), or establish the amount the Agency believes is just compensation, she/he must be specifically authorized by the Agency to do so. If the review appraiser is not specifically authorized to approve the appraisal (as the basis for the establishment of the amount believed to be just compensation), or establish the amount believed to be just compensation, that authority remains with another Agency official.

Section 24.104(b). In developing an independent approved or recommended value, the review appraiser may reference any acceptable resource, including acceptable parts of any appraisal, including an otherwise unacceptable appraisal. When a review appraiser develops an independent value, while retaining the appraisal review, that independent value also becomes the approved appraisal of the fair market value for Uniform Act Section 301(3) purposes. It is within Agency discretion to decide whether a second review is needed if the first review appraiser establishes a value different from that in the appraisal report or reports on the property.

Section 24.104(c). Before acceptance of an appraisal, the review appraiser must determine that the appraiser's documentation, including valuation data and analysis of that data, demonstrates the soundness of the appraiser's opinion of value. For the purposes of this part, an acceptable appraisal is any appraisal that, on its own, meets the requirements of § 24.103. An approved appraisal is the one acceptable appraisal that is determined to best fulfill the requirement to be the basis for the amount believed to be just compensation. Recognizing that appraisal is not an exact science, there may be more than one acceptable appraisal of a property, but for the purposes of this part, there can be only one approved appraisal.

At the Agency's discretion, for a low value property requiring only a simple appraisal process, the review appraiser's recommendation (or approval), endorsing the appraiser's report, may be determined to satisfy the requirement for the review appraiser's signed report and certification.

Section 24.106(b). Expenses incidental to transfer of title to the agency. Generally, the Agency is able to pay such incidental costs directly and, where feasible, is required to do so. In order to prevent the property owner from making unnecessary out-of-pocket expenditures and to avoid duplication of expenses, the property owner should be informed early in the acquisition process of the Agency's intent to make such arrangements. Such expenses must be reasonable and necessary.

Subpart C - General Relocation Requirements

Section 24.202 Applicability and Section 205(c) Services to be provided. In extraordinary circumstances, when a displaced person is not readily accessible, the Agency must make a good faith effort to comply with these sections and document its efforts in writing.

Section 24.204 Availability of comparable replacement dwelling before displacement.

Section 24.204(a) General. This provision requires that no one may be required to move from a dwelling without a comparable replacement dwelling having been made available. In addition, § 24.204(a) requires that, “where possible, three or more comparable replacement dwellings shall be made available.” Thus, the basic standard for the number of referrals required under this section is three. Only in situations where three comparable replacement dwellings are not available (e.g., when the local housing market does not contain three comparable dwellings) may the Agency make fewer than three referrals.

Section 24.205 Relocation assistance advisory services. Section 24.205(c)(2)(ii)(D) emphasizes that if the comparable replacement dwellings are located in areas of minority concentration, minority persons should, if possible, also be given opportunities to relocate to replacement dwellings not located in such areas.

Section 24.206 Eviction for cause. An eviction related to non-compliance with a requirement related to carrying out a project (e.g., failure to move or relocate when instructed, or to cooperate in the relocation process) shall not negate a person's entitlement to relocation payments and other assistance set forth in this part.

Section 24.207 General Requirements-Claims for relocation payments. Section 24.207(a) allows an Agency to make a payment for low cost or uncomplicated nonresidential moves without additional documentation, as long as the payment is limited to the amount of the lowest acceptable bid or estimate, as provided for in § 24.301(d)(1).

While § 24.207(f) prohibits an Agency from proposing or requesting that a displaced person waive his or her rights or entitlements to relocation assistance and payments, an Agency may accept a written statement from the displaced person that states that they have chosen not to accept some or all of the payments or assistance to which they are entitled. Any such written statement must clearly show that the individual knows what they are entitled to receive (a copy of the Notice of Eligibility which was provided may serve as documentation) and their statement must specifically identify which assistance or payments they have chosen not to accept. The statement must be signed and dated and may not be coerced by the Agency.

Subpart D - Payment for Moving and Related Expenses

Section 24.301. Payment for Actual Reasonable Moving and Related Expenses.

Section 24.301(e) Personal property only. Examples of personal property only moves might be: personal property that is located on a portion of property that is being acquired, but the business or residence will not be taken and can still operate after the acquisition; personal property that is located in a mini-storage facility that will be acquired or relocated; personal property that is stored on vacant land that is to be acquired.

For a nonresidential personal property only move, the owner of the personal property has the options of moving the personal property by using a commercial mover or a self-move.

If a question arises concerning the reasonableness of an actual cost move, the acquiring Agency may obtain estimates from qualified movers to use as the standard in determining the payment.

Section 24.301 (g)(14)(i) and (ii). If the piece of equipment is operational at the acquired site, the estimated cost to reconnect the equipment shall be based on the cost to install the equipment as it currently exists, and shall not include the cost of code-required betterments or upgrades that may apply at the replacement site. As prescribed in the regulation, the allowable in-place value estimate (§ 24.301(g)(14)(i)) and moving cost estimate (§ 24.301(g)(14)(ii)) must reflect only the “as is” condition and installation of the item at the displacement site. The in-place value estimate may not include costs that reflect code or other requirements that were not in effect at the displacement site; or include installation costs for machinery or equipment that is not operable or not installed at the displacement site.

Section 24.301(g)(17) Searching expenses. In special cases where the displacing Agency determines it to be reasonable and necessary, certain additional categories of searching costs may be considered for reimbursement. These include those costs involved in investigating potential replacement sites and the time of the business owner, based on salary or earnings, required to apply for licenses or permits, zoning changes, and attendance at zoning hearings. Necessary attorney fees required to obtain such licenses or permits are also reimbursable. Time spent in negotiating the purchase of a replacement business site is also reimbursable based on a reasonable salary or earnings rate. In those instances when such additional costs to investigate and acquire the site exceed $2,500, the displacing Agency may consider waiver of the cost limitation under the § 24.7, waiver provision. Such a waiver should be subject to the approval of the Federal-funding Agency in accordance with existing delegation authority.

Section 24.303(b) Professional Services. If a question should arise as to what is a “reasonable hourly rate,” the Agency should compare the rates of other similar professional providers in that area.

Section 24.305 Fixed Payment for Moving Expenses - Nonresidential Moves.

Section 24.305(d) Nonprofit organization. Gross revenues may include membership fees, class fees, cash donations, tithes, receipts from sales or other forms of fund collection that enables the nonprofit organization to operate. Administrative expenses are those for administrative support such as rent, utilities, salaries, advertising, and other like items as well as fundraising expenses. Operating expenses for carrying out the purposes of the nonprofit organization are not included in administrative expenses. The monetary receipts and expense amounts may be verified with certified financial statements or financial documents required by public Agencies.

Section 24.305(e) Average annual net earnings of a business or farm operation. If the average annual net earnings of the displaced business, farm, or nonprofit organization are determined to be less than $1,000, even $0 or a negative amount, the minimum payment of $1,000 shall be provided.

Section 24.306 Discretionary Utility Relocation Payments. Section 24.306(c) describes the issues that the Agency and the utility facility owner must agree to in determining the amount of the relocation payment. To facilitate and aid in reaching such agreement, the practices in the Federal Highway Administration regulation, 23 CFR part 645, subpart A, Utility Relocations, Adjustments and Reimbursement, should be followed.

Subpart E - Replacement Housing Payments

Section 24.401 Replacement Housing Payment for 180-day Homeowner-Occupants.

Section 24.401(a)(2). An extension of eligibility may be granted if some event beyond the control of the displaced person such as acute or life threatening illness, bad weather preventing the completion of construction, or physical modifications required for reasonable accommodation of a replacement dwelling, or other like circumstances causes a delay in occupying a decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling.

Section 24.401(c)(2)(iii) Price differential. The provision in § 24.401(c)(2)(iii) to use the current fair market value for residential use does not mean the Agency must have the property appraised. Any reasonable method for arriving at the fair market value may be used.

Section 24.401(d) Increased mortgage interest costs. The provision in § 24.401(d) sets forth the factors to be used in computing the payment that will be required to reduce a person's replacement mortgage (added to the downpayment) to an amount which can be amortized at the same monthly payment for principal and interest over the same period of time as the remaining term on the displacement mortgages. This payment is commonly known as the “buydown.”

The Agency must know the remaining principal balance, the interest rate, and monthly principal and interest payments for the old mortgage as well as the interest rate, points and term for the new mortgage to compute the increased mortgage interest costs. If the combination of interest and points for the new mortgage exceeds the current prevailing fixed interest rate and points for conventional mortgages and there is no justification for the excessive rate, then the current prevailing fixed interest rate and points shall be used in the computations. Justification may be the unavailability of the current prevailing rate due to the amount of the new mortgage, credit difficulties, or other similar reasons.

Sample Computation

Old Mortgage:
Remaining Principal Balance $50,000
Monthly Payment (principal and interest) $458.22
Interest rate (percent) 7
New Mortgage:
Interest rate (percent) 10
Points 3
Term (years) 15

Remaining term of the old mortgage is determined to be 174 months. Determining, or computing, the actual remaining term is more reliable than using the data supplied by the mortgagee. However, if it is shorter, use the term of the new mortgage and compute the needed monthly payment.

Amount to be financed to maintain monthly payments of $458.22 at 10% = $42,010.18.

Remaining Principal Balance $50,000.00
Minus Monthly Payment (principal and interest) −42,010.18
Increased mortgage interest costs 7,989.82
3 points on $42,010.18 1,260.31
Total buydown necessary to maintain payments at $458.22/month 9,250.13

If the new mortgage actually obtained is less than the computed amount for a new mortgage ($42,010.18), the buydown shall be prorated accordingly. If the actual mortgage obtained in our example were $35,000, the buydown payment would be $7,706.57 ($35,000 divided by $42,010.18 = .8331; $9,250.13 multiplied by .83 = $7,706.57).

The Agency is obligated to inform the displaced person of the approximate amount of this payment and that the displaced person must obtain a mortgage of at least the same amount as the old mortgage and for at least the same term in order to receive the full amount of this payment. The Agency must advise the displaced person of the interest rate and points used to calculate the payment.

Section 24.402 Replacement Housing Payment for 90-day Occupants

Section 24.402(b)(2) Low income calculation example. The Uniform Act requires that an eligible displaced person who rents a replacement dwelling is entitled to a rental assistance payment calculated in accordance with § 24.402(b). One factor in this calculation is to determine if a displaced person is “low income,” as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's annual survey of income limits for the Public Housing and Section 8 Programs. To make such a determination, the Agency must: (1) Determine the total number of members in the household (including all adults and children); (2) locate the appropriate table for income limits applicable to the Uniform Act for the state in which the displaced residence is located (found at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/ua/ualic.htm); (3) from the list of local jurisdictions shown, identify the appropriate county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)*, or Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA)* in which the displacement property is located; and (4) locate the appropriate income limit in that jurisdiction for the size of this displaced person/family. The income limit must then be compared to the household income (§ 24.2(a)(15)) which is the gross annual income received by the displaced family, excluding income from any dependent children and full-time students under the age of 18. If the household income for the eligible displaced person/family is less than or equal to the income limit, the family is considered “low income.” For example:

Tom and Mary Smith and their three children are being displaced. The information obtained from the family and verified by the Agency is as follows:

Tom Smith, employed, earns $21,000/yr.

Mary Smith, receives disability payments of $6,000/yr.

Tom Smith Jr., 21, employed, earns $10,000/yr.

Mary Jane Smith, 17, student, has a paper route, earns $3,000/yr. (Income is not included because she is a dependent child and a full-time student under 18)

Sammie Smith, 10, full-time student, no income.

Total family income for 5 persons is: $21,000 + $6,000 + $10,000 = $37,000

The displacement residence is located in the State of Maryland, Caroline County. The low income limit for a 5 person household is: $47,450. (2004 Income Limits)

This household is considered “low income.”

* A complete list of counties and towns included in the identified MSAs and PMSAs can be found under the bulleted item “Income Limit Area Definition” posted on the FHWA's Web site at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/ua/ualic.htm.

Section 24.402(c) Downpayment assistance. The downpayment assistance provisions in § 24.402(c) limit such assistance to the amount of the computed rental assistance payment for a tenant or an eligible homeowner. It does, however, provide the latitude for Agency discretion in offering downpayment assistance that exceeds the computed rental assistance payment, up to the $5,250 statutory maximum. This does not mean, however, that such Agency discretion may be exercised in a selective or discriminatory fashion. The displacing Agency should develop a policy that affords equal treatment for displaced persons in like circumstances and this policy should be applied uniformly throughout the Agency's programs or projects.

For the purpose of this section, should the amount of the rental assistance payment exceed the purchase price of the replacement dwelling, the payment would be limited to the cost of the dwelling.

Section 24.404 Replacement Housing of Last Resort.

Section 24.404(b) Basic rights of persons to be displaced. This paragraph affirms the right of a 180-day homeowner-occupant, who is eligible for a replacement housing payment under § 24.401, to a reasonable opportunity to purchase a comparable replacement dwelling. However, it should be read in conjunction with the definition of “owner of a dwelling” at § 24.2(a)(20). The Agency is not required to provide persons owning only a fractional interest in the displacement dwelling a greater level of assistance to purchase a replacement dwelling than the Agency would be required to provide such persons if they owned fee simple title to the displacement dwelling. If such assistance is not sufficient to buy a replacement dwelling, the Agency may provide additional purchase assistance or rental assistance.

Section 24.404(c) Methods of providing comparable replacement housing. This Section emphasizes the use of cost effective means of providing comparable replacement housing. The term “reasonable cost” is used to highlight the fact that while innovative means to provide housing are encouraged, they should be cost-effective. Section 24.404(c)(2) permits the use of last resort housing, in special cases, which may involve variations from the usual methods of obtaining comparability. However, such variation should never result in a lowering of housing standards nor should it ever result in a lower quality of living style for the displaced person. The physical characteristics of the comparable replacement dwelling may be dissimilar to those of the displacement dwelling but they may never be inferior.

One example might be the use of a new mobile home to replace a very substandard conventional dwelling in an area where comparable conventional dwellings are not available.

Another example could be the use of a superior, but smaller, decent, safe and sanitary dwelling to replace a large, old substandard dwelling, only a portion of which is being used as living quarters by the occupants and no other large comparable dwellings are available in the area.

[70 FR 611, Jan. 4, 2005, as amended at 70 FR 22611, May 2, 2005]

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