RELOCATION ASSISTANCE INFORMATION
I IMPORTANT RELOCATION ASSISTANCE INFORMATION
The following explanation is general in nature and is not intended to be a complete statement of Federal and State relocation laws and regulations. Any questions concerning relocation should be addressed to Caltrans Right-of-Way.
Any persons to be displaced will be assigned to a relocation advisor, who will work closely with each displacee in order to see that all payments and benefits are fully utilized and that all regulations are observed, thereby avoiding the possibility of displacees jeopardizing or forfeiting any of their benefits or payments. At the time of the first written offer to purchase, owner-occupants are given a detailed explanation of the State’s relocation services. Tenant occupants of properties to be acquired are contacted soon after the first written offer to purchase and also are given a detailed explanation of the Caltrans Relocation Program. To avoid loss of possible benefits, no individual, family, business, farm, or nonprofit organization should commit to purchase or rent a replacement property without first contacting a Caltrans relocation advisor.
II RELOCATION ASSISTANCE ADVISORY SERVICES
In accordance with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, Caltrans will provide relocation advisory assistance to any person, business, farm, or nonprofit organization displaced as a result of the acquisition of real property for public use. Caltrans will assist displacees in obtaining comparable replacement housing by providing current and continuing information on the availability and prices of both houses for sale and rental units that are "decent, safe, and sanitary". Nonresidential displacees will receive information on comparable properties for lease or purchase. (For business, farm, and nonprofit organization relocation services, see Section IV.)
Residential replacement dwellings will be in equal or better neighborhoods at rents or prices within the financial ability of the individuals and families displaced and reasonably accessible to their places of employment. Before any displacement occurs, comparable replacement dwellings will be offered to displacees that are open to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and consistent with the requirements of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. This assistance will also include the supplying of information concerning Federal- and State-assisted housing programs and any other known services being offered by public and private agencies in the area.
Persons who are eligible for relocation payments and who are legally occupying the property required for the project will not be asked to move without first being given at least 90 days’ written notice. Occupants eligible for relocation payment(s) will not be required to move unless at least one comparable "decent, safe, and sanitary" replacement residence, available on the market, is offered to them by Caltrans.
III RESIDENTIAL RELOCATION PAYMENTS PROGRAM
The Relocation Payment Program will help eligible residential occupants by paying certain costs and expenses. These costs are limited to those necessary for or incidental to the purchase or rental of the replacement dwelling and actual reasonable moving expenses to a new location within 50 miles of the displacement property. Any actual moving costs in excess of the 50 miles are the responsibility of the displacee. The Residential Relocation Program can be summarized as follows:
Any displaced person who lawfully occupied the acquired property, regardless of the length of occupancy in the property acquired, will be eligible for reimbursement of moving costs. Displacees will receive either the actual reasonable costs involved in moving themselves and personal property up to a maximum of 50 miles, or a fixed payment based on a fixed moving-cost schedule.
In addition to moving and related expense payments, fully eligible homeowners may be entitled to payments for increased costs of replacement housing.
Homeowners, who have owned and occupied their property for 180 days or more prior to the date of the first written offer to purchase the property, may qualify to receive a price differential payment and may qualify to receive reimbursement for certain non-recurring costs incidental to the purchase of the replacement property. An interest differential payment is also available if the interest rate for the loan on the replacement dwelling is higher than the loan rate on the displacement dwelling, subject to certain limitations on reimbursement based upon the replacement property interest rate. The maximum combination of these three supplemental payments that the owner-occupant can receive is $22,500. If the total entitlement (without the moving payments) is in excess of $22,500, the Last Resort Housing Program will be used. (See the explanation of the Last Resort Housing Program below.)
Tenants who have occupied the property to be acquired by Caltrans for 90 days or more and owner-occupants of 90-179 days prior to the date of the first written offer to purchase may qualify to receive a rental differential payment. This payment is made when Caltrans determines that the cost to rent a comparable "decent, safe, and sanitary" replacement dwelling will be more than the present rent of the displacement dwelling. As an alternative, the tenant may qualify for a down payment benefit designed to assist in the purchase of a replacement property and the payment of certain costs incidental to the purchase, subject to certain limitations noted below under the Down Payment section. The maximum amount payable to any tenant of 90 days or more and any owner-occupant of 90-179 days, in addition to moving expenses, is $5,250. If the total entitlement for rental supplement exceeds $5,250, the Last Resort Housing Program will be used.
In addition to the occupancy requirements in order to receive any relocation benefits, the displaced person must buy or rent and occupy a "decent, safe, and sanitary" replacement dwelling within one year from the date the department takes legal possession of the property, or from the date the displacee vacates the displacement property, whichever is later.
The down payment option has been designed to aid owner-occupants of 90-179 days and tenants with no less than 90 days of continuous occupancy prior to Caltrans first written offer. The down payment and incidental expenses cannot exceed the maximum payment of $5,250. The one-year eligibility period in which to purchase and occupy a "decent, safe, and sanitary" replacement dwelling will apply.
Last Resort Housing
Federal regulations (49 CFR 24) contain the policy and procedure for implementing the Last Resort Housing Program on Federal-aid projects. Last Resort Housing benefits are, except for the amounts of payments and the methods in making them, the same as those benefits for standard residential relocation as explained above. Last Resort Housing has been designed primarily to cover situations where a displacee cannot be relocated because of lack of available comparable replacement housing, or when the anticipated replacement housing payments exceed the $5,250 and $22,500 limits of the standard relocation procedure, because either the displacee lacks the financial ability or other valid circumstances. In certain exceptional situations, Last Resort Housing may also be used for tenants of less than 90 days.
After the first written offer to acquire the property has been made, Caltrans will, within a reasonable length of time, personally contact the displacees to gather important information, including the following:
IV THE NONRESIDENTIAL RELOCATION ASSISTANCE
The Nonresidential Relocation Assistance Program provides assistance to businesses, farms, and nonprofit organizations in locating suitable replacement property and reimbursement for certain costs involved in relocation. The Relocation Advisory Assistance Program will provide current lists of properties offered for sale or rent suitable for the specific relocation needs of a particular business. The types of payments available to eligible businesses, farms, and nonprofit organizations are moving and searching expenses and, possibly, re-establishment expenses or a fixed in lieu payment instead of any moving, searching, and re-establishment expenses. The payment types can be summarized as follows:
Moving expenses may include the following actual reasonable costs:
Re-establishment expenses related to the operation of the business at the new location, up to $10,000 for reasonable expenses actually incurred.
Fixed In Lieu Payment
A fixed payment in lieu of moving and searching payments and re-establishment payment may be available to businesses which meet certain eligibility requirements. This payment is an amount equal to the average annual net earnings for the last two taxable years prior to the relocation and may not be less than $1,000 nor more than $20,000.
V ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Relocation Payments Not Income
Reimbursement for moving costs and replacement housing payments are not considered income for the purpose of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or resources for the purpose of determining the extent of eligibility of a displacee for assistance under the Social Security Act, local "Section 8" Housing programs, or other Federal assistance programs.
Right to Appeal
Any person, business, farm, or nonprofit organization which has been refused a relocation payment by the Caltrans relocation advisor or believes that the payment(s) offered by the agency are inadequate, may appeal for a special hearing of their complaint. No legal assistance is required. Information about the appeal procedure is available from the relocation advisor.