Chapter 9: Presentation of Relocation Assistance Information

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Section 1: Notices

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General Information Notice

A person scheduled to be displaced shall be furnished with a general written description of TxDOT's relocation program at least 90 days before the required date to vacate. The notice may be issued in person or it may be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested with a follow up personal contact to furnish additional explanations. The notice, which may be issued separately or with other notices, shall inform a displacee:

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  • that he might be displaced for the project;
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  • that he might be eligible for relocation payment(s), the type of payment(s) for which the he may be eligible, the basic conditions of eligibility, and the procedures for obtaining the payment(s);
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  • that he will be given reasonable relocation advisory services, including referrals to replacement properties, assistance with filing payment claims, and other necessary assistance the displaced person may need to successfully relocate;
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  • that he will not be required to move without at least 90 days advance written notice, and that any person to be displaced from a dwelling cannot be required to move permanently, unless at least one comparable replacement dwelling has been made available;
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  • that any person who is an alien not lawfully present in the United States is ineligible for relocation advisory services and relocation payments, unless such ineligibility would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a qualifying spouse, parent, or child;
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  • that he has the right to appeal, within 90 days of TxDOT's determination, as to eligibility for, or the amount of, any relocation claim;
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  • that he shall adhere to the 18-month deadline in which to incur expenses and file claims;
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  • that he shall provide TxDOT reasonable advance notice of the estimated start date of his move or disposition of displaced personalty;
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  • that he shall provide TxDOT a list of items to be moved;
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  • that he shall permit TxDOT to monitor the move and make reasonable and timely inspections of personalty at both the displacement and replacement sites; and
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  • that deviation from any of the preceding five items may jeopardize eligibility or relocation benefits, as determined by TxDOT.
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Notice of Relocation Eligibility

Eligibility for relocation assistance shall begin on the date of a notice of intent to acquire, the initiation of negotiations, or actual acquisition, whichever occurs first. For TxDOT purposes, relocation assistance eligibility will normally occur at the “initiation of negotiation” (initial written offer to purchase the right of way) and TxDOT shall promptly notify all occupants, in writing, of their eligibility for applicable relocation assistance. The notice, which shall be issued at least 90 days before the required date to vacate, may be:

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Notices to Vacate

No lawful occupant shall be required to move unless he has received at least 90 days advance written notice of the earliest date by which he may be required to move.* To the greatest extent practicable, a person lawfully occupying ROW and required to move from a dwelling, or to move a business, farm, or NPO shall receive timely written notice of the intended date to vacate. To meet these requirements, the following separate written notices shall be issued to each applicable displacee:

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  • 90-Day Notice - Issued on or after the initiation of ROW negotiations. Due to different project circumstances, the timing of the notice shall be at TxDOT’s discretion. All such notices shall include a statement that the displacee will not be required to move from his dwelling, business, farm, or NPO before (1) 90 days from the notice date or (2) if a residential displacee, the date that comparable replacement housing was made available, whichever is later. If the 90-day notice is issued before comparable replacement housing is made available, the notice shall state that the occupant will not be required to move earlier than 90 days after such comparable replacement housing is made available. In all instances, the 90-day notice shall state that the occupant will be given a separate 30-day written notice specifying the required date to vacate.
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  • 30-Day Notice - This notice, which is required for all displacees, shall inform the displacee of the specific date to vacate. Do not give this notice until TxDOT has legal possession of the right of way. The displacee shall be advised that the housing or rent supplement will not be increased later, unless the date to vacate is extended in writing by TxDOT. Any payment for incidental expenses and any increased interest payment shall be based on the lesser costs in effect as of (1) the displacee’s specified date to vacate or (2) the date the displacee actually moves, whichever is earlier.
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  • Urgent Need - In unusual circumstances, and if it is determined by TxDOT that a 90-day notice is impractical because continued occupancy of the property would constitute a substantial danger to health or safety, an occupant may be required to move earlier. Prior to issuing a notice to vacate in less than 90 days, coordination shall be established with the ROW Program Office in order to obtain FHWA approval and special relocation entitlements. A copy of this determination shall be included in the applicable case file.

* Intended dates to vacate may be extended when warranted; however, extensions shall be in writing and shall give a new specific date to vacate. A notice to vacate is not required if an occupant moves voluntarily before the notice is given. If a displacee moves voluntarily before receiving a notice to vacate, a narrative of events about the move shall be documented in ROW PD files.

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Notice of Intent to Acquire

A notice of intent to acquire, not be confused with the notice to owner, is TxDOT's written communication provided to a person to be displaced, which clearly sets forth that TxDOT intends to acquire the property. This includes persons to be displaced by rehabilitation or demolition activities from property acquired prior to the commitment of Federal financial assistance to the activity. A notice of intent to acquire establishes eligibility for relocation assistance prior to the initiation of negotiations and/or prior to the commitment of Federal financial assistance.

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Notice of Advance Relocation Assistance Eligibility

A written notice of advance relocation assistance eligibility shall be issued when it is necessary to establish eligibility before initiation of negotiations. This notice shall not be issued without prior approval by the ROW Program Office.

If a notice of advance relocation assistance eligibility is issued, the date the displacee moves from the proposed ROW is considered the same as the date of initiation of negotiations. This notice shall not be issued before receiving authorization for initiating project negotiations or for acquisition of individual parcels for protective buying or due to hardship.

A notice of advance relocation assistance eligibility shall include:

If a notice of advance relocation assistance eligibility is given to an owner, notice shall also be given to his tenants within 30 days. The owner shall simultaneously be notified of such action.

A notice of advance relocation assistance eligibility shall not be issued unless initiation of ROW negotiations is imminent, to prevent subsequent occupancy of the ROW and to minimize rental difficulties for owners.

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Notice to Late Occupants

When a residential or a non-residential displacee occupies improvements within the proposed ROW after the initiation of negotiations, the displacee shall be furnished the following notification of his entitlement to applicable relocation benefits:

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  • a written statement including the date negotiations were initiated;
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  • a written description of the relocation assistance program, eligibility requirements, including requirement for the late occupant to continue occupancy until TxDOT’s possession of the property, in order to qualify for relocation assistance entitlements; and
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  • TxDOT’s Relocation Assistance booklet;

The notice to the late occupant shall be issued promptly following his occupancy of the proposed ROW, and at least 90 days before the date to vacate. If this notice is issued before TxDOT acquires legal possession, the displacee shall be issued a second notice when TxDOT acquires legal possession. This notice shall inform him of his eligibility to receive a relocation payment.

This notice to the late occupant may be issued in person or it may be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, with a follow-up personal contact to furnish additional explanations.

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Notice of Denial of Claim

If TxDOT disapproves all or part of a payment claim, or refuses to consider the claim on its merits because of untimely filing of a claim for expenses incurred on or before the 18-month deadline, promptly notify the claimant in writing of this determination, the basis for the determination, and the procedures for appealing that determination.

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