Section 4: Miscellaneous Provisions

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No Waiver of Relocation Assistance

A displacing agency shall not propose or request that a displaced person waive his or her rights or entitlements to relocation assistance and benefits provided by the Uniform Act as contained in 49CFR, Part 24.

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No Duplication of Payments

No person will receive any payment if that person receives a payment, including acquisition funds, under Federal, State, local law or from insurance proceeds that has the same purpose and effect as a payment.

TxDOT is not required to conduct an exhaustive search for other payments, and is only required to avoid creating duplication based on its knowledge at the time a payment is computed.

See Chapter 24, Section 2 of this manual for instructions regarding governmental employees and active duty military personnel displaced from residential dwellings.

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Type of Interest Acquired

If the ROW interest acquired is enough to cause displacement, then the type of interest (e.g., drainage easement) acquired does not affect eligibility for payment of relocation costs. Similarly, terms under which a tenant lawfully occupies property do not affect the tenant's eligibility for payment of relocation costs, if the tenant is displaced by a project.

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Partial Acquisitions

The occupant of a remainder who elects to move after a partial acquisition is not necessarily eligible for relocation payments. In addition to other eligibility requirements, ROW PD must determine that the partial acquisition renders the remainder unsuitable for continued occupancy. In this case, relocation payments must be claimed within 18 months of written notification by ROW PD.

If a partial acquisition displaces a business or farm operation or causes a displacee to vacate a dwelling (or other real property) on the remainder, or to move personalty from the remainder, then the displacee is eligible for additional moving expense compensation.

Considerations in determining a displacement are:

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  • for residential displacees: the partial acquisition renders a dwelling on the remainder non-decent, safe and sanitary, and the appraiser assigns complete damages to the dwelling.
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  • for non-residential displacees: the partial acquisition renders a business, farm or non-profit organization unable to conduct business in the same or similar manner as prior to acquisition.

When it is determined by TxDOT that a partial acquisition causes a residential or non-residential displacee to relocate from the remainder, any such displacee:

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  • will be considered displaced; and
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  • will be eligible to receive the same payments as though their dwellings or business, farm or NPO were within the portion of the real property acquired.
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Acquisition of Remainder

If an owner voluntarily sells a remainder under the uneconomic remainder procedures (refer to the ROW Appraisal and Review Manual), then any owner or tenants displaced due to acquisition of the remainder are eligible for relocation benefits. If a voluntarily acquired remainder is not uneconomic, then only displaced tenants are eligible for relocation benefits.

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Eviction for Cause

A displacee who lawfully occupies real property on the date negotiations are initiated is assumed to be entitled to relocation payments and other assistance described in this manual, unless TxDOT determines that:

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  • the displacee received an eviction notice before initiating negotiations and is then evicted as a result of that eviction notice; or
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  • the displacee is evicted after initiation of negotiations for other reasons.

In neither of the above cases, can the eviction occur for the purpose of evading TxDOT's obligation to make available payments and other assistance. Eviction by TxDOT for failure to move or cooperate in the relocation process does not negate the displaced person’s eligibility for assistance and/or payments.

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Date of Displacement

For determining relocation payment eligibility, the date of displacement is the latter of:

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  • the date the person moves, or is required to move by notice (whichever is earlier);
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  • the date a comparable replacement dwelling is made available.
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Joint Residential and Business Use

When displaced individuals or families occupy living quarters on the same premises as a displaced business, farm, or nonprofit organization, these individuals or families are considered separate displaced persons for purposes of determining entitlement to relocation payments.

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Refusal of Assistance

A displacee who relocates on his own initiative can refuse relocation services and still be eligible for payments. However, the displacee must meet eligibility requirements and apply within the time limits to qualify for relocation benefits.

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Provisions of this manual not required by law may be waived as an exception to policy when the waiver will not reduce any assistance or protection available to a displacee. Individual waivers must be justified and approved by the ROW Program Office.

FHWA approval of a waiver is required when Federal funding is involved in any part of the project and the waived provision is a Federal regulation requirement.

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Global Settlements

Title 49 CFR 24 separates the acquisition and relocation activities with the intent to preclude global settlements, which is the packaging of relocation entitlements with the fair market value to reach an administrative settlement in the acquisition.

Global settlements are not consistent with the requirements of the Uniform Act in that relocation benefits shall be determined in accordance with specific fact-based criteria. Relocation benefits are a reimbursement of eligible expenses which requires certain actions on the displacee's part prior to receiving a payment. Any settlement of relocation benefits is considered to be in noncompliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.

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Ineligible Payments

No person will receive payments for costs associated with:

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  • legal fees, except those associated with the purchase of lease of a replacement non-residential site;
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  • preparing a claim for a relocation payment; or
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  • representing a claimant before TxDOT or any other entity.
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