Housing Development

Relocation and Displacement

The Uniform Relocation and Displacement Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (URA) applies to displacement of tenants that results from federal financing for the acquisition, demolition, or rehabilitation of projects carried out by public agencies, nonprofit organizations, private developers and others.

A displaced person is someone who has to move because

  • Their lease is not renewed at the time of the project;
  • Their rent is increased beyond their ability to pay (above 30% of their income);
  • They are not offered a Decent, Safe and Sanitary (DSS) replacement unit;
  • Temporary relocation and displacement was unreasonable;
  • They were not told about the project; and
  • There was change in use through a federal program (i.e., housing for persons with supportive services).

The federal government takes the rights of tenants in rental rehabilitation properties very seriously. Grantees and developers who are working on HUD-funded projects need to understand that the URA is basic consumer legislation that addresses fairness issues. Tenants whose living circumstances are changed by a project, either by higher rents or involuntary moves, should be protected and compensated.

For any project requesting HOME or other federal funds that will result in displacement, the displacing agency (i.e., owners, developers or property management agencies) must comply fully with all requirements of URA. Copies of the HUD Handbook 1378: Tenant Assistance Relocation and Displacement and Real Property Acquisition are available from SDHDA or can be obtained from the HUD relocation website.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits are not considered “Federal Financial Assistance” and applying for these funds alone will make your project exempt from URA, but if you are planning to apply for “layered” funding such as HOME and HTC, HOME funds offer “blanket URA coverage” for the whole project, even though it may be the HTC that is displacing the tenant.

Section 8 Tenants: Per the HUD Project Based Section 8 regulations, tenants who are currently receiving HUD Project Based Section 8 cannot be displaced from their homes because of relocation and displacement. Incentives may be offered to the tenants to voluntarily relocate, but it will be up to tenant, not the owner/developer, as to whether they will or will not relocate. Planning early is critical so that you may adjust your application for HOME and/or HTC funds to provide for the existing Section 8 tenants.

Planning is critical, relocation and displacement concerns must be thought about early in the process so decisions about rents, construction timing, and project feasibility can be considered before they are a crisis. It must also be noted that SDHDA strongly discourages proposals that will result in permanent displacement activities. Please review the Relocation and Displacement Assistance policy for further information.

Call or e-mail Chas Olson, Housing Development Officer
Phone: (605) 773-4132