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Section 3: Departmental Policy

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Commission Minute Orders

Minute Order No. 78183, passed February 18, 1981, and Minute Order No. 65168, passed August 5, 1971, contain policy related to relocation payments and assistance. Relocation program costs are financed with State funds, except for funds expended on the Interstate or on other Federal projects for which Federal participation in the cost of ROW is programmed.

The Texas Transportation Commission directed the TxDOT Executive Director to formulate operational procedures to implement policy of the Commission. Specifically, the Commission directed that procedures provide for:

  • methods of establishing eligibility of displacees to receive one or more types of financial assistance payments, and
  • methods for examining and promptly acting on relocation review requests from displacees.
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Replacement Housing Policy

A displacee will not be required to move permanently from his residence unless at least one comparable replacement dwelling is made available. Where possible, three or more comparable replacement dwellings should be made available. Thus, the standard for the number of referrals required under this policy is three. However, if local market conditions are such that three comparable replacement dwellings can not be identified, then fewer than three referrals may be made. A comparable dwelling is considered to be made available to a displacee, if the displacee:

  • is informed of its location;
  • has sufficient time to negotiate and enter into a purchase agreement or lease for the property; and
  • is assured of receiving the relocation assistance and acquisition compensation (subject to reasonable safeguards) to which the displacee is entitled in sufficient time to purchase or rent the replacement property.

If three referrals can not be made, record reasons for the relocation on form ROW-R-107 (Supplemental Payment Estimate - Replacement Housing).

When possible, displacees must be given reasonable opportunities to relocate to Decent, Safe, and Sanitary (DSS) replacement dwellings in the neighborhood of their choice within their financial means. However, this policy does not require TxDOT to provide a displacee with a larger payment than necessary for a displacee to relocate to a comparable replacement dwelling.

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Emergency Relocation

When a displacee is required to temporarily relocate because of a “disaster or emergency,” as described below, the following apply:

  • take action to assure that the displacee is temporarily relocated to a DSS dwelling;
  • the displacee must be entitled to compensation for reasonable moving expenses and reasonable increases in monthly housing costs incurred due to with the temporary relocation; and
  • promptly offer the displacee at least one comparable replacement dwelling. The date of displacement is the date the displacee moves from the temporarily occupied dwelling. This date is used for the purpose of filing a claim and meeting eligibility requirements for a relocation payment.

A temporary displacement “disaster or emergency” is:

  • a major disaster as defined in Section 102(c) of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (42USC §5121);
  • a presidentially-declared national emergency; or
  • an emergency requiring immediate vacation of the real property, (e.g., when continued occupancy of a displacement dwelling constitutes a danger to the health or safety of the occupants or the public)
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