SECTION 4: Cross-Cutting Requirements

Besides the rules and requirements specific to CDBG-DR, there are several broad Federal rules that must be followed when implementing programs with CDBG-DR funds. Grantees, their subrecipients, and contractors must be aware of these requirements and ensure that any activities are in compliance. The Guidebook covers the following areas: Environmental & Related Requirements; the URA, Section 104(d) and Related Relocation Requirements; Davis-Bacon & Related Acts; and the Section 3 Final Rule.

URA, Section 104(d), and Related Relocation Requirements

This section provides guidance and resources on the applicability and implementation of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, (URA), section 104(d) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, and CDBG Displacement, Relocation, Acquisition and Replacement of Housing program requirements that apply to CDBG-DR projects and activities. CDBG-DR funding is subject to the URA, section 104(d), and to the CDBG program regulatory requirements at 24 CFR 570.606. Some of those Federal requirements are subject to waivers and/or alternative requirements for disaster recovery purposes.

CDBG-DR Consolidated Notice: URA, 104(d), and CDBG Related Requirements

The URA refers to a Federal law called the “Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970,” as amended. The URA establishes minimum Federal requirements for the acquisition of real property and the displacement of persons from their homes, businesses, or farms as a direct result of acquisition, rehabilitation, or demolition for Federally-assisted programs and projects.

CDBG Disaster Recovery: Working with URA, Section 104(d), & Related CDBG Program Requirements

The key objective of the URA is to establish fair and equitable treatment of people whose property is acquired or who must move for a Federally funded project. The URA regulations at 49 CFR part 24, in part, establish minimum requirements for:

  • Real property acquisition, including but not limited to, valuation, negotiations, and the payment of just compensation.

  • Residential and nonresidential relocation.

  • Temporary relocation.

The Consolidated Notice modifies the following URA regulatory requirements by providing waivers and alternative requirements:

  1. URA Voluntary Acquisition – Homebuyer Primary Residence Purchase: The requirement at 49 CFR 24.101(b)(2) is waived in connection with a homebuyer’s voluntary purchase of their primary residence. This waiver reduces the burdensome administrative requirements for homeowners following a disaster. This waiver has no effect on a displaced tenant’s eligibility for URA relocation assistance as a result of the Federally-assisted acquisition.

  2. URA Replacement Housing Payments for Tenants: The URA replacement housing payments requirements are waived only to the extent necessary to allow the grantee to meet all or a portion of a grantee’s replacement housing payment obligation to a displaced tenant by offering rental housing through a rental housing program subsidy (e.g. housing choice voucher), if certain conditions are met.

Section 104(d) refers to a section of a federal law called the “Housing and Community Development Act of 1974," as amended. Section 104(d) applies to the demolition or conversion of lower-income dwelling units in connection with a CDBG- or HOME-assisted activity. Section 104(d) regulations are found at 24 CFR part 42.

  • Minimize displacement by requiring grantees to create and follow a Residential Anti-displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan (RARAP) which includes but is not limited to, steps taken to minimize displacement of persons from their homes and neighborhoods.

  • Provide relocation assistance for displaced lower-income persons as an alternative to URA-based payments.

  • Replace lower-income dwellings demolished or converted to a use other than lower-income housing in connection with a CDBG-assisted activity.

The Consolidated Notice modifies section 104(d) requirements by providing the following waivers and alternative requirements:

  1. Section 104 (d) one-for one replacement of lower-income dwelling units: One-for-one replacement requirement are waived for owner-occupied lower-income dwelling units that are damaged by the disaster and not suitable for rehabilitation. This waiver does not apply to tenant-occupied and vacant occupiable lower-income dwelling units demolished or converted to another use other than lower-income housing in connection with a CDBG-DR assisted activity, which are generally subject to one-for-one replacement requirements.

  2. Section 104(d) relocation assistance: Section 104(d) eligible displaced persons may choose either section 104(d) relocation assistance or URA relocation assistance. This waiver eliminates the persons’ choice and limits the available relocation assistance to the amounts and types of assistance for displaced persons under the URA, as may be modified by the waivers and alternative requirements in the Consolidated Notice.

  3. RARAP Section 104(d): Section 104(d) RARAP requirements are modified to add certain descriptions and steps that grantees must add to their RARAP for CDBG-DR activities. In addition, CDBG-DR grantees must either amend their exisiting RARAP or create a new RARAP for CDBG-DR purposes. See below for additional guidance.

CDBG displacement, relocation, acquisition, and replacement housing program regulations.

Optional relocation assistance

The Optional Relocation assistance waiver to 24 CFR 570.606(d) provides grantees with the flexibility to allow subrecipients to establish their own optional relocation policies rather than being limited for their development at the grantee level. Grantees may establish optional relocation policies or permit their subrecipients to establish separate optional relocation policies to be better tailored to specific community needs.

Waiver of Section 414 of the Stafford Act

Section 414 preserves a homeowner-occupant’s and tenant’s eligibility for a replacement housing payment under the URA, due to their inability to meet length of occupancy requirements because of a Presidentially declared disaster. Section 414 and its implementing regulation at 49 CFR 24.403(d)(1) are waived for CDBG–DR funded projects commencing more than one year after the date of the latest applicable Presidentially declared disaster undertaken by the grantees, or subrecipients, provided the project was not planned, approved, or otherwise underway before the disaster. This waiver assumes that after one year, most persons displaced by the disaster will have returned to their homes or established another permanent place of residence. The waiver also provides a definition for the phrase “project commencement”

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Early in the project’s planning process, the CDBG-DR grantee should coordinate with the subrecipient, developer(s), and property owner(s) when activities might trigger the URA and/or section 104(d) to minimize displacement or the adverse impacts of displacement before activities associated with temporary relocation or permanent displacement commence.

When implementing projects, early common-sense planning is necessary to ensure timely advancement and financial viability exhibiting sufficient funding to comply with the URA, section 104(d), and CDBG regulatory requirements at 24 CFR 570.606 (as modified by the Notice).

Written policies and procedures provide a roadmap for successful planning efforts and project compliance. These policies and procedures should specify key personnel responsible (typically by job title) for each of the administrative, acquisition, and relocation actions. CDBG-DR recipients should consider organizational staff capacity and experience and provide any necessary training to enable key personnel to successfully perform all relevant tasks required of them. HUD’s free self-paced “URA the HUD Way” web training course should be considered for training purposes.

URA, 104(d), and CDBG related policies should be communicated early and often. For example, funding application guides and requests for proposals should clearly communicate acquisition and relocation policies. These policies should also be discussed in pre-award/start-up conferences for proposed projects.

CDBG-DR grantees are reminded that the grantee is solely responsible for ensuring compliance with URA, 104(d), and CDBG regulations at 24 CFR 570.606 (as modified by the Consolidated Notice), notwithstanding any contractor(s) or consultant(s) obligation to the grantee.

The CDBG-DR Action Plan must include a description of how grantees plan to minimize displacement. The description must include: 

  1. Plans to minimize displacement of persons and entities;

  2. Plans to assist any persons or entities displaced;

  3. Plans to address accessibility needs of displaced persons with disabilities; and

  4. Planning and budgeting for relocation activities.

Grantees must indicate in their Action Plan if they will be amending an existing RARAP or creating a new RARAP specific to DR.

The Action Plan must cover any actions necessary to ensure compliance with the RARAP for DR prior to implementing any activity.

To meet this requirement, grantees will develop information in the RARAP that is specific to disaster recovery activities. Grantees’ descriptions should include steps to minimize displacement when displacement can be prevented and a description of all types of relocation assistance that will be provided to help minimize the adverse impacts of displacement where minimizing displacement is not reasonable, feasible or cost efficient and would not help prevent future loss.

These steps should be scoped to the complexity of the anticipated displacing activities and focused on planning and budgeting with special considerations to the challenges experienced by displaced persons and vulnerable populations.

Vulnerable populations are defined as a group or community whose circumstances present barriers to obtaining or understanding information or accessing resources, and should be defined further in a grantee’s Action Plan.

Examples of activities the grantee can undertake to minimize or prevent displacement of persons may include:

  • Stage rehabilitation of vacant apartment units first to allow tenants to transition into completed units, enabling them to remain in the building/complex, when feasible.

  • Arrange for facilities with DSS units within the neighborhood to house persons who must be relocated temporarily during rehabilitation.

  • Cost-efficient, feasible and reasonable mitigation measures will be considered before acquisition and demolition of residential units and permanent displacement of residents.

Examples of activities the grantee can undertake early in the planning phases to diminish the adverse impacts of displacement (when minimizing displacement is not reasonable, feasible, or cost-efficient) may include:

  • Promote cooperation and coordination among government agencies, neighborhood groups and affected parties to inform displaced persons of assistance that may be available.

  • Consult often with occupants of the site to adequately determine housing needs and advisory services.

  • Identify comparable, affordable replacement housing to meet the needs of occupants who may be displaced.

Grantees are also reminded to take into consideration the functional needs of persons with disabilities in the relocation process. Requirements for project planning and budgetary implications include:

  • Identifying resources needed to address relocation impacts on minorities, the elderly, large families and persons with disabilities.

  • Describing the assistance to displaced persons with disabilities to ensure they can relocate to housing that meets their sensory, mental, mobility, emotional and/or other disability-related accessibility needs.

  • Access to required supportive services, such as public transport, specialized public schools, etc.

  • Communications with persons with sensory, cognitive, and developmental disabilities is accessible but also as equally effective as communication with nondisabled persons. (24 CFR Part 8, 24 CFR Part 100 and 28 CFR Part 35)

  • Reasonable accommodation requirements of a displaced person with a disability at the replacement dwelling unit can be found at 49 CFR 24.2(a)(8) and Appendix A 24.2(a)(8)(vii).

  • Guidance on relocation considerations for persons with disabilities can be found in Chapter 3 of HUD Handbook 1378.

A Guide on How CDBG-DR Grantees Can Meet the Requirements of the Consolidated Notice