TITLE 29

State Government

State Planning and Property Acquisition

CHAPTER 93. UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE


As used in this chapter:

(1) The term "agency" means any department, agency or instrumentality of the State or of a political subdivision of the State, any department, agency or instrumentality of 2 or more states, or 2 or more political subdivisions of the State, or states, and any person who has the authority to acquire property by eminent domain under state law.

(2) The term "business" means any lawful activity, except a farm operation, conducted primarily:

a. For the purchase, sale, lease and rental of personal and/or real property, and/or for the manufacture, processing and/or marketing of products, commodities or any other personal property;

b. For the sale of service to the public;

c. By a lawful nonprofit organization; or

d. Solely for the purposes of § 9302 of this title for assisting in the purchase, sale, resale, manufacture, processing or marketing of products, commodities, personal property or services by the erection and maintenance of an outdoor advertising display or displays, whether or not such display or displays are located on the premises on which any of above activities are conducted.

(3) The term "comparable replacement dwelling" means any dwelling that is:

a. Decent, safe and sanitary;

b. Adequate in size to accommodate the occupants;

c. Within the financial means of the displaced person;

d. Functionally equivalent to the displacement dwelling;

e. In an area not subject to unreasonably adverse environmental conditions;

f. In a location generally not less desirable than the location of the displaced person's dwelling with respect to public utilities, facilities, services, and the displaced person's place of employment;

g. On a site that is typical in size for residential development; and

h. Currently available on the open market to the displaced person.

(4) "Criteria established by the agency" as used in this chapter, shall mean those criteria established and approved pursuant to the relevant provisions of 49 CFR Part 24, as amended.

(5)a. The term "displaced person" means: any person who moves from real property, or moves personal property from real property:

1. As a direct result of a written notice of intent to acquire, the initiation of negotiations or the acquisition of such real property in whole or in part for a program or project undertaken by an agency; or

2. As a direct result of rehabilitation, demolition or such other displacing activity as the agency may prescribe, under a program or project undertaken by an agency in any case in which the agency determines that such displacement is permanent; and

3. As a direct result of a written notice of intent to acquire, the acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition of, in whole or part, other real property on which the person conducts a business or farm operation, for a program or project undertaken by an agency; however, eligibility for such person under this paragraph applies only for purposes of obtaining moving expenses and relocation assistance advisory services under §§ 9302(a) and (b) and 9306 of this title.

b. The term "displaced person" does not include:

1. A person who has been determined, according to criteria established by the agency, either to be unlawfully occupying the displacement dwelling, to have been evicted for lawful cause prior to the initiation of negotiations for the property, or to have occupied such dwelling for the purpose of obtaining assistance under this chapter;

2. In any case in which the agency acquires property for a program or project, any person (other than a person who was an occupant of such property at the time it was acquired) who occupies such property on a rental basis for a short term or a period subject to termination when the property is needed for the program or project;

3. In any case where such action is of voluntary nature where the agency would not seek to purchase such real property through eminent domain proceedings.

(6) The term "farm operation" means any activity conducted solely or primarily for the production of 1 or more agricultural products or commodities, including timber, for sale or home use, and customarily producing such products or commodities in sufficient quantity to be capable of contributing materially to the operator's support.

(7) The term "mortgage" means such classes of liens as are commonly given to secure advances on, or the unpaid purchase price of, real property, under the laws of the State, together with the credit instruments, if any, secured thereby.

(8) The term "person" means any individual, family, partnership, corporation or association.

(9) In the event a term in this chapter is undefined, but which term is defined in 49 CFR Part 24, as amended, the definition contained therein shall apply.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9101; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 1.;

(a) Whenever the acquisition of real property for a program or project undertaken by an agency will result in the displacement of any person on or after May 27, 1972, the agency shall make a payment to any displaced person upon proper application as approved by the agency for:

(1) Actual reasonable expenses in moving the person, the person's family, business, farm operation or other personal property;

(2) Actual direct losses of tangible personal property as a result of moving or discontinuing a business or farm operation, but not to exceed an amount equal to the reasonable expenses that would have been required to relocate such property as determined by the agency;

(3) Actual reasonable expenses in searching for a replacement business or farm; and

(4) Actual expenses necessary to reestablish a displaced farm, nonprofit organization or small business at its new site, in accordance with criteria established by the agency, but not to exceed $10,000. Notwithstanding the limitations of the preceding sentence, state agency payments under this paragraph shall use the same criteria and shall be authorized to pay in excess of the $10,000 payment permitted by the preceding sentence under said criteria, but shall not use or attempt to obtain reimbursement from federal funds to the extent of the excess. In any event, total payments under this paragraph shall not exceed $22,500.

(b) Any displaced person eligible for payments under subsection (a) of this section who is displaced from a dwelling and who elects to accept the payments authorized by this subsection in lieu of the payments authorized by subsection (a) of this section may receive a fixed expense allowance payment in an amount to be determined according to criteria established by the agency.

(c) Any displaced person eligible for payments under subsection (a) of this section who is displaced from the person's place of business or farm operation and who is eligible under criteria established by the agency may elect to accept the payment authorized by this subsection in lieu of the payment authorized by subsection (a) of this section. Such payment shall consist of a fixed payment in an amount to be determined according to criteria established by the agency, except that such payment shall be not less than $1,000 nor more than $20,000. A person whose sole business at the displacement dwelling is the rental of such property to others shall not qualify for a payment under this subsection.

(d) In addition to all other payments authorized under this chapter, a person displaced by any program or project may receive reimbursement for miscellaneous expenses incurred within 30 days of relocation, which expenses are directly attributable to such relocation and which expenses have in fact been paid and for which a proper receipt can be shown. In no event, however, shall such miscellaneous payments as authorized by this subsection exceed 1% of the appraised residential fair market value of the residence acquired, as determined by such agency. Payments authorized by this subsection shall not be allowed if provided for by any other section of this chapter.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9102; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 8, §§ 2, 3; 68 Del. Laws, c. 405, § 58; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) In addition to payments otherwise authorized by this chapter, the displacing agency shall according to established criteria make an additional payment, not in excess of $22,500, to any displaced person who is displaced from a dwelling actually owned and occupied by such displaced person for not less than 180 days prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of the property. Such additional payment shall include the following elements:

(1) The amount, if any, which when added to the acquisition cost of the dwelling acquired by the displacing agency, equals the reasonable cost of a comparable replacement dwelling.

(2) The amount, if any, which will compensate such displaced person for any increased interest costs and other debt service costs which such person is required to pay for financing the acquisition of any such comparable replacement dwelling. Such amount shall be paid only if the dwelling acquired by the agency was encumbered by a bona fide mortgage which was a valid lien on such dwelling for not less than 180 days immediately prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of such dwelling.

(3) Reasonable expenses incurred by such displaced person for evidence of title, recording fees and other closing costs incident to the purchase of the replacement dwelling, but not including prepaid expenses.

(b) The additional payment authorized by this section shall be made only to a displaced person who purchases and occupies a decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwelling within 1 year after the date on which such person receives final payment from the agency for the acquired dwelling or the date on which the obligation of the agency under § 9307 of this title is met, whichever is later, except that the agency may extend such period for good cause. If such period is extended, the payment under this section shall be based on the costs of relocating the person to a comparable replacement dwelling within 1 year of such date.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9103; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 4.;

(a) In addition to amounts otherwise authorized by this chapter, an agency shall make a payment to or for any displaced person displaced from any dwelling not eligible to receive a payment under § 9303 of this title which dwelling was actually and lawfully occupied by such displaced person for not less than 90 days immediately prior to (1) the initiation of negotiations for acquisition of such dwelling and has rented or purchased and occupied a decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwelling within 1 year of moving from the displacement dwelling or (2) in any case in which displacement is not a direct result of acquisition, such other event as the agency shall prescribe. Such payment shall be made in accordance with criteria established by the agency not to exceed $5,250 and shall consist of the amount necessary to enable such person to lease or rent for a period not to exceed 42 months, a comparable replacement dwelling. At the discretion of the agency, a payment under this subsection may be made in periodic installments.

(b) Any person eligible for a payment under subsection (a) of this section may elect to apply such payment to a down payment on, and other incidental expenses pursuant to, the purchase of a decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwelling. Any such person may, at the discretion of the agency, be eligible under this subsection for the maximum payment allowed under subsection (a) of this section, except that, in the case of a displaced homeowner who has owned and occupied the displacement dwelling for at least 90 days but not more than 180 days immediately prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of such dwelling, such payment shall not exceed the payment such person would otherwise have received under § 9303(a) of this title had the person owned and occupied the displacement dwelling 180 days immediately prior to the initiation of such negotiations.

(c) The full amount of the replacement housing payment for down payment assistance must be applied to the purchase price of the replacement dwelling and related incidental expenses.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9104; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 5.;

In determining the amounts to be paid under §§ 9302, 9303 and 9304 of this title, the agency shall provide payments which will assure maximum federal participation in federally assisted projects or programs.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9105; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2.;

(a) Programs or projects undertaken by an agency shall be planned in a manner that:

(1) Recognizes, at an early stage in the planning of such programs or projects and before the commencement of any actions which will cause displacements, the problems associated with the displacement of individuals, families, businesses and farm operations; and

(2) Provides for the resolution of such problems in order to minimize adverse impacts on displaced persons and to expedite program or project advancement and completion.

(b) An agency shall ensure that the relocation assistance advisory services described in subsection (c) of this section are made available to all persons displaced by such agency. If such agency determines that any person occupying property immediately adjacent to the property where the displacing activity occurs is caused substantial economic injury as a result thereof, the agency may make available to such person such advisory services.

(c) Each relocation assistance advisory program required by subsection (b) of this section shall include such measures, facilities or services as may be necessary or appropriate in order to:

(1) Determine, and make timely recommendations on, the needs and preferences, if any, of displaced persons for relocation assistance;

(2) Provide current and continuing information on the availability, sales prices and rental charges of comparable replacement dwellings for displaced homeowners and tenants and suitable locations for businesses and farm operations;

(3) Assist a person displaced from a business or farm operation in obtaining and becoming established in a suitable replacement location;

(4) Supply:

a. Information concerning federal, state and local programs which may be of assistance to displaced persons; and

b. Technical assistance to such persons in applying for assistance under such programs;

(5) Provide other advisory services to displaced persons in order to minimize hardships to such persons in adjusting to relocation; and

(6) The agency shall coordinate relocation activities performed by such agency with other federal, state or local governmental actions in the community which could affect the efficient and effective delivery of relocation assistance and related services.

(d) Notwithstanding § 9301(5)b of this title, in any case in which an agency acquires property for a program or project, any person who occupies such property on a rental basis for a short term or a period subject to termination when the property is needed for the program or project shall be eligible for advisory services to the extent determined by the agency.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9106; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 6.;

(a) If a program or project undertaken by an agency cannot proceed on a timely basis because comparable replacement dwellings are not available, and the agency determines that such dwellings cannot otherwise be made available, the head of the agency may take such action as is necessary or appropriate to provide such dwellings by use of funds authorized for such project. The agency may use this section to exceed the maximum amounts which may be paid under §§ 9303 and 9304 of this title on a case-by-case basis for good cause as determined in accordance with such regulations as the agency shall issue.

(b) No person shall be required to move from a dwelling on account of any program or project undertaken by an agency unless the agency is satisfied that comparable replacement housing is available to such person.

(c) The agency shall assure that a person shall not be required to move from a dwelling unless the person has had a reasonable opportunity to relocate to a comparable replacement dwelling, except in the case of:

(1) A major disaster as defined in § 102(2) of the Federal Disaster Relief Act of 1974 [42 U.S.C. § 5122];

(2) A national emergency declared by the President or a state of emergency declared by the Governor; or

(3) Any other emergency which requires the person to move immediately from the dwelling because continued occupancy of such dwelling by such person constitutes a substantial danger to the health or safety of such person.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9107; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 7.;

(a) The Governor may, by proclamation or execution order, designate an agency or agencies to establish rules and regulations as may be necessary under this chapter. In lieu of such proclamation or executive order, each agency concerned shall adopt such rules and regulations to assure:

(1) That the payments and assistance authorized by this chapter shall be administered in a manner which is fair and reasonable and as uniform as practicable;

(2) That a displaced person who makes proper application for a payment authorized for such person by this chapter shall be paid promptly after a move or, in hardship cases, paid in advance; and

(3) That any person aggrieved by a determination as to eligibility for a payment authorized by this chapter or the amount of payment may have the application reviewed by the head of the agency.

(b) The agency may prescribe such other regulations and procedures as it deems necessary or appropriate to carry out this chapter.

(c) If a project cannot proceed to actual construction because comparable replacement sale or rental housing is not available, the agency may enter into such agreements with the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development or take such other action as necessary or appropriate to provide such housing by use of funds authorized for such project.

(d) In order to encourage and facilitate the construction or rehabilitation of housing to meet the needs of displaced persons who are displaced from dwellings because of any project or program, the agency may enter into agreements with the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development or take such other actions as necessary or appropriate to utilize federal loans for planning and preliminary expenses for additional housing as provided under 42 U.S.C., § 4635.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9108; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

In order to prevent unnecessary expense and duplication of functions and to promote uniform and effective administration of relocation assistance programs for displaced persons, the agency may enter into contracts with any individual, firm, association or corporation for services in connection with those programs or may carry out its functions under this chapter through any federal agency or any department or instrumentality of the State or its political subdivisions having an established organization for conducting relocation assistance programs.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9109; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2.;

(a) Funds appropriated or otherwise available to any agency or unit of local government for the acquisition of real property or any interest therein for a particular program or project shall also be available to carry out the provisions of this chapter as applied to that program or project.

(b) No payment or assistance under this chapter or under Chapter 95 of this title shall be required to be made to any person or included as a program or project cost under this section, if such person receives a payment required by federal, state or local law which is determined by the agency to have substantially the same purpose and effect as such payment under this chapter or under Chapter 95 of this title.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9110; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 8.;

If a unit of local government or political subdivision of this State acquires real property, and state financial assistance is available to pay the cost, in whole or part, of the acquisition of that real property, or of the improvement for which the property is acquired, the cost to the unit of local government or political subdivision of providing the payments and services prescribed by this chapter shall be included as part of the costs of the project for which state financial assistance is available and the unit of local government or political subdivision shall be eligible for state financial assistance for relocation payments and services in the same manner and to the same extent as other project costs.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9111; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2.;

A person who moves or discontinues a business, or moves other personal property or moves from such person's dwelling as a direct result of any project or program which receives federal financial assistance under Title I of the Housing Act of 1949 [42 U.S.C. § 1441 et seq.], as amended, or as a result of carrying out a comprehensive city demonstration program under Title I of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966 [42 U.S.C. § 3301 et seq.] shall, for the purposes of this chapter, be deemed to have been displaced as the result of the acquisition of real property.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9112; 58 Del. Laws, c. 436; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

No payment received by a displaced person under this chapter shall be considered as income or resources for the purpose of determining the eligibility or extent of eligibility of any person for assistance under state law or for the purposes of the Delaware state income or corporation income tax. Such payments shall not be considered as income or resources to any recipient of public assistance under Title 31, and such payments shall not be deducted from the amount of aid to which the recipient would otherwise be entitled.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9113; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2.;

Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as creating in any condemnation proceeding brought under the power of eminent domain any element of damages not in existence on May 27, 1972, and the payments authorized by this chapter are to be in addition to the just compensation established in such proceedings, but only to the extent they are not otherwise included in the condemnation award.

29 Del. C. 1953, § 9114; 58 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2.;