Chapter 9: Presentation of Relocation Assistance InformationAnchor: #BGBJECAH
Section 1: NoticesAnchor: #i1000411
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, must inform a displacee:
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- that he might be displaced for the project; Anchor: #RYFIKSFM
- 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); Anchor: #WJVCOCWU
- 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; Anchor: #YHYVCFNK
- that he will not be required to move without at least 90 days advance written notice, and informs any person to be displaced from a dwelling that he cannot be required to move permanently unless at least one comparable replacement dwelling has been made available; Anchor: #QAALNXTD
- 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, and; Anchor: #TTYBESHT
- that he has the right to appeal TxDOT's determination as to eligibility for, or the amount of, any relocation claim; Anchor: #IEVNWFHF
- that he must provide TxDOT reasonable advance notice of the estimated start date of his move or disposition of displaced personalty; Anchor: #JLGIYNVB
- that he must provide TxDOT a list of items to be moved; and Anchor: #SECIJVIX
- that he must permit TxDOT to monitor the move and make reasonable and timely inspections of personalty at both the displacement and replacement sites.
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 must be issued at least 90 days before the required date to vacate, may be:
- Anchor: #FUUCREWA
- issued separately; or Anchor: #NBYPTYTN
- with other notices; or Anchor: #OSMDGUXU
- issued in person; or Anchor: #TFWWLCJS
- sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
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 nonprofit operation must receive timely written notice of the intended date to vacate. To meet these requirements, issue the following separate written notices must 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 must be at TxDOT’s discretion. All such notices must include a statement that the displacee will not be required to move from his dwelling, business, farm, or nonprofit operation 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 must 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 must state that the occupant will be given a separate 30-day written notice specifying the required date to vacate. Anchor: #LBETXHIE
- 30-Day Notice - This notice, which is required for all displacees, must inform the displacee of the specific date to vacate. Do not give this notice until TxDOT has legal possession of the right of way. At this time, advise the displacee that the housing or rent supplement will not be increased later unless the date to vacate is extended in writing by TxDOT. Also, base any payment for incidental expenses and any increased interest payment on the lesser costs in effect as of (1) the specified date to vacate or (2) the date the displacee actually moves. Anchor: #AGISXMFS
- 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 must be established with ROW Division Headquarters in order to obtain Federal Agency 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, but extensions must be in writing and must give a new specific date to vacate. A notice to vacate is not required if an occupant moves voluntarily before the notice is given. At such time a displacee moves voluntarily before receiving a notice to vacate, a narrative of events about the move shall be documented in department files.Anchor: #i1011274
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, including those to be displaced by rehabilitation or demolition activities from property acquired prior to the commitment of Federal financial assistance to the activity, which clearly sets forth that TxDOT intends to acquire the property. 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.Anchor: #FNJIIKIM
Notice of Advance Relocation Assistance Eligibility
Issue a written notice of advance relocation assistance eligibility when it is necessary to establish eligibility before initiation of negotiations. Do not issue this notice without prior approval by ROW Division HQ.
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. Do not issue this notice 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 should include:
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- an eligibility statement, with any applicable restrictions; Anchor: #UQNIRCBI
- the anticipated date of initiation of negotiations; Anchor: #HAFQJXHC
- instructions on how to obtain additional information on relocation payments and services; and Anchor: #CBIGIVSR
- a copy of the TxDOT Relocation Assistance booklet.
If a notice of advance relocation assistance eligibility is given to an owner, also give the notice to his tenants within 30 days, and simultaneously notify the owner of such action.
Do not issue a notice of advance relocation assistance eligibility unless initiation of ROW negotiations is imminent to prevent possible later ROW occupancy and to minimize rental difficulties for owners.Anchor: #i1000664
Notice to Late Occupants
When a displacee, whether residential or non-residential, occupies improvements within the proposed ROW after the initiation of negotiations, furnish the displacee the following notification of his entitlement to applicable relocation benefits:
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- a written statement including the date negotiations were initiated; Anchor: #HKRQPYKE
- a written description of the relocation assistance program, eligibility requirements including requirement for the late occupant to continue occupancy until State possession of the property in order to qualify for relocation assistance entitlements; and Anchor: #ELYEQFOA
- TxDOT’s Relocation Assistance booklet;
Issue the notice to the late occupant 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, give the displacee a second notice when TxDOT acquires legal possession so that he can be informed of his eligibility to receive a relocation payment.
This notice to 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.Anchor: #i1000757
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 or other grounds, promptly notify the claimant in writing of its determination, the basis for its determination, and the procedures for appealing that determination.