Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code

Part IV. Relocation Advisory Services

24VAC30-41-170. General.

The relocation advisory services program will be carried out so that displacees will receive uniform and consistent services and payments regardless of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The services provided under this section are intended to assist displacees in relocating to decent, safe and sanitary housing that meets their needs. The services will be provided by personal contact. If personal contact cannot be made, the district office will document the file to show that reasonable efforts were made to achieve the personal contact.

Relocation advisory services shall be offered to:

1. Any displaced person as defined in 24VAC30-41-30.

2. Any person occupying property immediately adjacent to the real property acquired when VDOT determines that such person or persons are caused substantial economic injury because of the acquisition.

3. Any person who, as a result of the project, moves, or moves personal property from real property not being acquired for the project.

Statutory Authority

§ 25.1-402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 4601 et seq.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 3, eff. November 21, 2001.

24VAC30-41-180. Relocation offices.

A. The need for the establishment of a relocation office to service the displacees located on a project will be determined on a project-by-project basis by the district manager. The main criteria for establishing a project office will be whether such an office would be efficient and responsive to displacee needs and an efficient use of staff resources. An adequate sign clearly visible to the public will identify all project site offices.

B. A local relocation office must be easily accessible to project area residents and business operators and shall be open during normal work hours and during evening hours when necessary to serve the project displacees. The office should be arranged so as to afford privacy during meetings with project residents and other persons having business at the office. At least one relocation agent will be assigned to the office with the primary responsibility of providing relocation assistance. The agent will be required to maintain regular contact with the project's displacees and be available for evening appointments at the convenience of the displacees.

The following information should be available:

1. Local ordinances pertaining to housing, building codes and open housing.

2. Consumer educational literature on housing, shelter costs and family budgeting.

3. Copy of VDOT's relocation brochure.

4. A current and continuing list of decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwellings, both for rent and for sale. The list will contain only fair and open housing available to persons without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.

5. A similar list of commercial properties and locations for business.

6. Current data for such costs as security deposits for utilities, leases and closing costs, typical down payments, interest rates and terms, taxes, assessments, etc.

7. Maps showing location of schools, parks, playgrounds, shopping areas and appropriate public transportation routes, schedules and costs.

8. Any other important information of value to displacees.

Statutory Authority

§ 25.1-402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 4601 et seq.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 3, eff. November 21, 2001.

24VAC30-41-190. Minimum advisory assistance service requirements.

A. Advisory assistance service will be provided by personal face to face contact with displacees whenever possible. Services will include measures, facilities or services necessary or appropriate to:

1. Determine the relocation needs, preferences and intentions of each person to be displaced.

2. Explain the relocation eligibility requirements and the procedures for obtaining such assistance. This will include a personal interview with each person. These actions are taken in the normal course of the pre-acquisition and negotiations phases.

3. Advise displacees that payments are not considered income for tax purposes.

4. Provide current and continuing information on the availability, purchase prices and rental costs of comparable replacement dwellings. Explain that no one can be required to move unless a comparable replacement dwelling is available.

5. Inform the person of the specific comparable replacement dwelling and the price or rent used as the basis for establishing the upper limit of relocation payments. The basis for the determination should be explained.

6. Provide reasonable opportunity to minority persons to relocate to decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwellings, not located in areas of minority concentration, that are within their financial means. This policy, however, does not require VDOT to provide a person a larger payment than is necessary to enable a person to relocate to a comparable replacement dwelling.

7. Offer all displacees, especially the elderly and disabled, transportation to inspect housing to which they are referred.

8. Provide current and continuing information on the availability, purchase prices and rental costs of suitable commercial properties and locations for businesses.

9. Assist any person displaced from a business or farm operation to obtain and become established in a suitable replacement location. Obtain information pertaining to the business' replacement site requirements, current lease terms and other contractual obligations and the financial capacity of the business to accomplish the move.

10. Minimize hardships to persons in adjusting to relocation by providing counseling, advice as to other sources of assistance that may be available and such other help as may be appropriate.

11. Supply persons to be displaced with appropriate information concerning federal and state housing programs, disaster loans and other similar programs administered by federal and state agencies.

12. Determine if a business has a need for an outside specialist required to assist in planning the move, assistance in the actual move, and in the reinstallation of machinery or other personal property.

13. For businesses, every effort must be made to identify and resolve realty/personalty issues prior to, or at the time of, the appraisal of the property.

14. Determine an estimate of the time required for the business to vacate the site and the anticipated difficulty in locating a replacement site.

15. Plan for any advance relocation payments required for the move and the required documentation to receive advance payments.

Advisory services will be offered on a basis commensurate with the displacee's needs. This may require only minimum assistance when displacees are involved who are well informed, mentally, physically and financially able to manage their displacement and who neither need nor desire VDOT's assistance. A much greater degree and intensity of services and assistance will be provided to those who are elderly, infirm, immobile or otherwise unable to cope with their displacement or economic problems.

B. The relocation agent must offer relocation assistance to every displacee. The displacee may specifically state that there is no need for assistance, other than providing payment offers and processing claims. Even then, the agent must make a subjective judgment as to the ability of the displacee to competently locate, acquire and occupy a decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwelling. If the relocation agent does not feel the displacee possesses the ability to relocate without help, the agent should make efforts to furnish assistance or refer other service providers having specialized knowledge, skills and programs.

C. The relocation agent will notify the displacee in writing of the availability of comparable replacement housing, even though the displacee may have no intention or desire to relocate into the specific dwelling units being referred. The relocation agent can fulfill this requirement by informing the displacee of the comparable replacement housing utilized in the supplemental evaluation and other lower priced comparables. The agent can then tailor continuing relocation efforts to locating replacement housing that meets the particular desires of the displacee.

D. The relocation agent should develop a multitude of sources for replacement housing. These sources will include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Real estate brokers and boards of realtors;

2. Multiple listing agencies;

3. Real estate developers;

4. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Administration (VA) area and region offices;

5. Builders and construction associations;

6. Real estate management firms;

7. Public housing agencies;

8. Newspaper advertisements;

9. Mobile home dealers; and

10. Banks and other lending institutions.

E. The relocation agent should maintain contact, exchange information and coordinate its relocation activities with other displacing agencies and with community organizations rendering services useful to displaced persons. Such agencies should include, but not be limited to: Social Welfare Agencies, Urban Renewal Agencies, Redevelopment Authorities, Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration, Small Business Administration, Farmer's Home Administration, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development and local Chambers of Commerce. Local private nonprofit housing service organizations and other community organizations should also be contacted and informed of general displacement activities and needs.

F. Once the displacee locates replacement housing, the agent should be sufficiently knowledgeable in real estate practices to guide the displacee through the procedures necessary to obtain this housing. It is not the responsibility of the agent to assume the role of the various real estate professions. The agent should however counsel the displacee concerning lease and purchase agreement provisions, security deposits, earnest money, mortgages and other forms of financing, closing costs and settlement procedures. The agent should advise the displacee to enter a decent, safe, and sanitary inspection clause in any lease or purchase agreement for replacement housing.

G. It is the duty of the agent to ensure that the displacee receives all payments and benefits to which the displacee is legally entitled. In order to facilitate the payment process, the agent shall assist the displacee in completing all required forms, as well as obtaining any necessary supporting documentation for the payment.

H. Immediately after each contact with the displacee, the agent shall enter on the contact record (Library Form RW-68A) a summary of topics discussed and conclusions or agreements reached. The record should indicate:

1. Date of the contact;

2. Person contacted;

3. Topics discussed;

4. Displacee's attitude and opinion;

5. Notation of available replacement housing offered, if any; and

6. Any other pertinent information obtained during the contact.

Statutory Authority

§ 25.1-402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 4601 et seq.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 3, eff. November 21, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 13, eff. April 6, 2005.

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