Relocation Assistance For Owners, Tenants and Businesses
(Note: This is a document that is full of Language Deception. It is made to make the reader think that he/she must abide by what is described as "the law." Words and phrases like "may be eligible for," "might," "should," "could," "decent, safe and sanitary," "comparable," and many more, are fraught with the devil that is in the details, i.e., the "small print." When "acquiring" private property for unconstitutional "projects" that are NOT specified as being legal government uses for eminent domain (like military bases, hospitals, schools, roads, Post Offices, etc.), all is actually illegal and should not be looked at as viable. There is no need for a private property owner to be "roped into" thinking that he or she must deal with such illegal actions and their "regulations." "Possible habitat" for a species, "endangered," "threatened," "at risk," or whatever other Language Deception guise is given, is NOT a legal use for eminent domain and must not be allowed to be used to "displace" people or steal their homes, lands, businesses, etc. Many words and phrases that are Language Deception are highlighted in red bold. The reader is asked to read with care and with the knowledge that an agency whose policy is "Closed Until Open" is illegally acquiring lands in the first place. "Closed" is not a "public purpose." "Closed" means the public is not allowed. Remember, Language Deception is always "open to interpretation," i.e., further twisting of words and meanings. Please note the cavalier and dismissive attitude toward "minority persons," which is tossed out like an afterthought. Resource providers in America -- farmers, ranchers, miners, commercial fishermen, and loggers -- are fast becoming labeled as "minorities," on their way to being called "extinct," as these illegal policies are used to bluff people into believing that they are actually "legal." Middle class folks are targets, too, as they are being squeezed out of their ability to ever own a home or land or small business. This is an agenda, a Plan, but it is not a "conspiracy," other than the Fact that there are those -- Gang Greed -- who conspire to do these illegal and immoral things to the honest, hardworking people who made America great.)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
One of this brochure, Acquiring Real Property for Federal and
Federal-Aid Programs and Projects, explains your rights and entitlements
as an owner of real property to be
acquired for a federally funded project or program.
Two of this brochure, Your Rights and
Benefits as a Displaced Person Under the Federal Relocation Assistance
Program, explains the Relocation Assistance regulations
covering persons that must move from a
property as a result of acquisition.
Should you have additional questions about acquisition or relocation assistance, please contact the Agency responsible for the federally funded project or program in your area.
relocation assistance, contact your local
Fish and Wildlife Service representative.
(Place Service stamp address below.)
Real Property for Federal and Federal-Aid Programs and Projects
Appraisal and the Determination of Just Compensation
Appraisal … 1-7
Compensation ... 1-8
Structures, and Improvements ... 1-9
Owned Buildings, Structures, and Improvements … 1-9
to Appraisal Requirements ... 1-10
Written Offer ... 1-11
Acquisition ... 1-12
Between You and the Agency … 1-13
That Do Not Involve Condemnation ... 1-13
and Possession …
and Condemnation …
Assurances or Certifications
Rights and Benefits as a Displaced Person Under the Federal Relocation
of Policy …
I - Information
for Persons Displaced from a Residence
Costs - Individuals and Families ...
Reasonable Moving Costs
Moving Cost Schedule ... 2-7
Replacement Housing ... 2-8
Safe, and Sanitary Housing … 2-9
of Payments ... 2-10
Supplement ... 2-12
Assistance ... 2-15
Payment … 2-17
of Last Resort ...
Housing ... 2-21
II - Information
on Relocation Services
Assistance Services ...
of Appeal …
for Businesses, Farms, and Nonprofit Organizations
of Payments ...
Cost Move ... 2-28
Cost Move ... 2-29
Payment (In Lieu) … 2-31
One: Acquiring Real Property for Federal and Federal-Aid Programs and
agencies often need to acquire
private property for public programs or projects. This
kind of acquisition has long been recognized as a right of organized
government and is known as “the power of eminent domain.”
However, our government cannot
abuse this power. The Fifth Amendment of our
Constitution states that private property shall not “be taken for
public use, without just compensation.” The Fourteenth Amendment
provides comparable protection against abuse by State governments.
brochure explains the rights and benefits of property owners whose real
property is to be acquired, in whole or in part, for a federally funded
program or project.
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments were written when our country had a
largely rural population and most of the land affected by public
improvement projects was undeveloped. The picture has changed
dramatically today. Large urban regions with highly developed land areas
and extremely dense populations are now the rule and not the exception.
1971, the acquisition of land for a variety of government programs and
projects has been subject to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real
Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended (the Uniform Act).
The Uniform Act provides for fair and equitable treatment of persons
whose property will be acquired or who will be displaced because of
programs or project financed with Federal funds.
Uniform Act has three parts or Titles.
I contains general provisions and definitions.
II has provisions for relocation assistance for persons displaced
because of Federal and federally assisted programs.
III, the Uniform Real Property Acquisition Policy, has provisions for
consistent treatment of owners when their property is acquired by the
brochure explains the acquisition procedures required by Title III.
Federal, State, and local public agencies (and others receiving Federal
financial assistance for public programs and projects requiring the
acquisition of real property) must comply with the policies and
provisions set forth in the Uniform Act and its amendments.
rules for the Uniform Act were first published in the Federal Register
on March 2, 1989.
rules are reprinted each year in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title
49, Part 24.
rules provide uniform policy and procedures for the acquisition of real
property by all Federal, State, and local government agencies (and by
certain private persons) who receive financial assistance for any
program or project from the United States Government.
acquisition itself does not need to be federally funded for the rules to
apply. If Federal funds are used in any phase of the program or project,
the rules of the Uniform Act apply. The rules encourage acquiring
agencies to negotiate with property owners in a prompt and amicable
manner so that litigation can be avoided.
brochure is consistent with the rules of the Uniform Act for appraisal
and acquisition. These rules assure property owners that their interests
will be protected. All Agencies acquiring real property for federally
funded projects and programs are required to ensure that you will be
treated fairly and equitably. The information in this brochure should
assist you in understanding the requirements that must be met by
Agencies and your rights and obligations.
- The process of acquiring real property (real estate) or some interest
therein. See the definition of real property.
- A governmental organization (either Federal, State, or local) or a
nongovernmental organization (such as a utility company, or a private
person using Federal financial assistance for a program or project) that
acquires real property or displaces a person.
- The act or process of estimating the monetary value of an interest in
property. The appraisal is to be independent, impartial, and prepared by
a qualified appraiser. It must set forth an opinion of defined value for
an adequately described property. The value will be assigned as of a
specific date and will be supported by the presentation and analysis of
relevant market data. The term appraisal is also frequently used as a
synonym for the written appraisal report.
- The legal process of acquiring private property for public use or
purpose through the acquiring Agency’s power of eminent domain.
Condemnation is usually not used until all attempts to reach a mutually
satisfactory agreement through negotiations has failed. An acquiring
Agency then goes to court to acquire the needed property.
- In general, the right of one person to use all or part of the property
of another person for some specific purpose. Easements can be permanent
or temporary (i.e., limited to a stated period of time). The term may be
used to describe either the right itself or the document conferring the
Domain - The right of a government to take private property for public
use. In the United States, just
compensation must be paid for private property acquired for federally
funded programs or projects.
Value - The sale price that a willing and informed seller and a willing
and informed buyer can agree to for a particular property.
- A right, title, or legal share in something. People who share in the
ownership of real property have an interest in the property.
Compensation - The price an Agency must pay to acquire real property. The
price offered by the Agency is considered to be fair and equitable
to both the property owner and the
public. The Agency’s offer to the owner is “just
compensation” and may not be less than the amount established in the
approved appraisal report as the market value for the property. If it
becomes necessary for the acquiring Agency to use the condemnation
process, the amount paid through the court will be just compensation for
the acquisition of the property.
- A charge against a property in which the property is the security for
payment of a debt. A mortgage is a lien. So are taxes. Customarily,
liens must be paid in full when the property is sold.
- The process used by acquiring agencies to reach amicable agreements
with property owners for the acquisition of needed property. An offer is
made for the purchase of property in person or by mail, and the offer is
discussed with the owner.
- Any individual, partnership, corporation, or association.
Property - In general, property that can be moved. It is not permanently
attached to, or a part of, the real property. Personal property is not
to be considered in the appraisal of real property.
or Project - Any activity or series of activities undertaken by a
Federal Agency. Also, any activity undertaken by a State, local Agency,
or individual where Federal financial assistance is used in any phase of
Appraiser - A person who, by education, experience, ability, and
licensing or certification requirements is capable of preparing an
appraisal of a particular piece of real estate.
Property - The interest, rights, and benefits that go along with the
ownership of real estate, which is land and the improvements thereon. In
some States real property and real estate are synonymous. In other
States, real property is used to mean the interest, rights, and benefits
as well as the land and improvements.
Remnant - The portion of an owner’s property that remains after the
Agency acquires the property needed for a program or project that the
Agency determines has little or no value or utility to the owner. The
Agency must offer to purchase the remnant, but the owner may refuse the
offer and keep it.
Appraisal and the Determination of Just Compensation
Appraisal - An Agency normally determines
what specific property needs to be acquired for a public project or
program only after the project has been planned and government
requirements have been met. The Agency will also review public records
and other information about property in the area.
the property owner, will be notified as soon as possible of (1) the
Agency’s interest in acquiring your property, (2) the Agency’s
obligation to secure and perform necessary appraisals, and (3) any other
a government Agency begins to acquire private property for public use, the
first personal contact with you, the property owner, should
be no later than during the appraisal of the property.
appraiser will then contact you to make an appointment to inspect your
property. The appraiser is responsible for determining the initial
market value of the property. The Agency will use the appraiser’s
report to establish the just compensation to be offered for the
or any representative that you designate, will be invited to accompany
the appraiser when the property is inspected. This provides you an
opportunity to point out any unusual or hidden features of the property
that the appraiser could overlook.
this time, you should also advise the appraiser if any of the following
There are other owners.
There are tenants on the property.
There are, on your property, items of real or personal property that
belong to someone else.
would also be helpful to tell the appraiser about other properties in
your area that have recently sold.
appraiser will inspect your property and note its physical
characteristics. He or she will review sales of other properties similar
to yours in order to compare the facts of those sales with the facts
about your property.
appraiser will analyze all elements that affect value.
By law, the appraiser must disregard the influence of the future public project on the value of the property.
the appraiser must consider normal
depreciation and physical deterioration that has taken
place. The appraisal report will describe your property and the
Agency will determine a value [that is] based on the condition of
the property on the day that the appraiser last saw it, as compared with
similar properties that have sold.
Compensation - Once the appraisal has been completed, a review appraiser
from the Agency will review the report to ensure that all applicable
appraisal standards and requirements were met. The review appraiser will
give the Agency an approved appraisal to use in determining the amount
of just compensation to be offered for your real property. The amount
offered will never be less than the market value established by the
the Agency is only acquiring a part of your property, any allowable
damages or benefits to the remaining property will be included in this
amount. The Agency will prepare a written offer of just compensation to
provide to you when negotiations begin.
Structures, and Improvements - Sometimes buildings, structures, or other
improvements considered to be real property are located on the property
to be acquired. If this is the case, the Agency must offer to acquire at
least an equal interest in such buildings, structures, or other
improvements if they must be removed or if the Agency decides that the
improvements will be adversely affected by the public program or
an improvement -- which can be considered real property -- is owned by
the owner of the real property on which it is located, then this
improvement will be treated as real property.
Tenant-Owned Buildings, Structures, and Improvements
Sometimes, tenants lease real property and build or add improvements for their use.
they have the right or obligation to remove the improvements at the
expiration of the lease term. If, under State law, the improvements are
considered to be real property, the Agency must make an offer to the
tenants to acquire these improvements.
order to be paid for these improvements, the tenant-owner must assign,
transfer, and release to the Agency all right, title, and interest in
the improvements. Also, the owner of the real property on which the
improvements are located must disclaim all interest in the improvements.
compensation for an improvement will be the amount that the improvement
contributes to the market value of the whole property, or its value for
removal from the property (salvage value), whichever is greater.
tenant-owner can reject payment for the tenant-owned improvements and
obtain payment for his or her property interests in accordance with
other applicable laws. The Agency cannot pay for tenant-owned
improvements if such payment would result in the duplication of any
other compensation otherwise authorized by law.
improvements are considered personal property under State law, the
tenant-owner may be reimbursed for moving them under the relocation
Agency will personally contact the tenant owners of improvements to
explain the procedures to be followed. Any payments must be in
accordance with Federal rules and any applicable State laws.
to Appraisal Requirements - An appraisal is not required under the
If you elect to donate the property and release the Agency from the
obligation of performing an appraisal.
If the Agency determines that the acquisition is uncomplicated, and a
review of available data supports a market value of $2,500 or less.
The Written Offer
next step of the acquisition process
is negotiations. The
Agency will begin negotiations with you or your designated
representative by delivering the written offer of just compensation for
the purchase of the real property. If practical, this offer will be
delivered in person by a representative of the Agency.
the offer will be made by mail and followed up with a contact in person
or by telephone. All owners of the property with known addresses will be
contacted unless they collectively have designated one person to
represent their interest.
Agency’s written offer will consist of a written summary statement
that includes all of the following information:
1. The amount offered as just compensation.
2. The description and location of the property and the interest to be acquired.
The identification of the buildings and other improvements that are
considered to be part of the real property.
offer may also list items of real property that you may retain and
remove from the property and their retention values. If you decide to
retain any or all of these items, the offer will be reduced by the value
of the items retained. You will be responsible for removing the items
from the property in a timely manner.
Agency may elect to withhold a portion of the remaining offer until the
retained items are removed from the property.
Agency should also explain its acquisition policies and procedures in
writing, by use of a brochure similar to this, or in person.
separately held ownership interests in the property, such as
tenant-owned improvements, will be identified by the Agency.
Agency may negotiate with each person who holds a separate ownership
interest, or, if appropriate, negotiate with the primary owner and
prepare a check payable jointly to all owners.
Agency will give you a reasonable amount of time to consider the written
offer and to ask questions or to request clarification of anything that
is not understood. If you believe that all relevant material was not
considered during the appraisal, you may present such information at
this time. Modifications in the proposed terms and conditions of the
purchase may also be requested. The Agency will consider any reasonable
requests that are made during negotiations.
Acquisition - Sometimes, an Agency does
not need all the property you own. The Agency usually only purchases
what it needs. If the Agency intends to acquire only a
portion of the property, the Agency must state the amount to be paid for
the part to be acquired. In addition, an amount will be stated
separately for damages, if any, to the portion of the property you will
the Agency determines that the remainder property will have little or no
value or use to you, the Agency will consider this remainder to be an
uneconomic remnant and will offer to purchase it. You will have the
option of accepting the offer for purchase of the uneconomic remnant or
of keeping the property.
Between You and the Agency - When you reach agreement with the Agency on
the offer, you will be asked to sign an
option to buy, a purchase agreement, an easement, or some form of deed
prepared by the Agency. Your signature will affirm that
you and the Agency are in agreement concerning the acquisition of the
property, including the terms and conditions of the acquisition.
you do not reach an agreement with the Agency because of some important
point connected with the acquisition offer and the Agency has exhausted
all its opportunities to reach a settlement with you, the Agency may
initiate condemnation proceedings.
Agency may not take any action to force you into accepting its offer.
Agency actions include the following:
Advancing the condemnation process.
Delaying the deposit of funds for the owner’s use with the court when
condemnation is initiated.
Any other coercive action designed to force an agreement by an owner
regarding the price to be paid for the property.
Negotiations That Do Not Involve Condemnation
Not all agencies have the power of eminent domain, or elect to use it for all projects or programs.
the acquisition procedures that may lead to condemnation will not apply.
third step in the acquisition process is payment for your property. As
soon as all of the necessary paperwork has been completed for
transferring title of the property, the Agency will pay any liens that
may exist against the property and pay your equity to you. Your
incidental expenses will also be paid or reimbursed. Incidental expenses
are all those reasonable expenses incurred as a result of transferring
title to the Agency such as:
fees, transfer taxes, documentary stamps, evidence of title, surveys,
legal descriptions of the real property, and other similar expenses
necessary to convey the property to the Agency. The Agency, however, is
not required to pay costs required solely to perfect your title (that
is, to assure that the title to the real property is entirely without
fault or defect).
costs and other charges for prepaying any preexisting recorded mortgage
entered into in good faith encumbering the real property.
pro rata share of any prepaid real property taxes that can be allocated
to the period after the Agency obtains title to the property or takes
possession of it, whichever is earlier. If possible, the Agency will pay
these costs directly so that you will not need to pay the costs and then
claim reimbursement from the Agency.
The Agency may not take possession of your property unless both of these conditions have been met:
have been paid the agreed purchase price. In the case of condemnation,
the Agency must have deposited with the court an amount for your benefit
that is at least the Agency’s approved appraisal of the market value
of the property.
persons occupying the property have received a written notice to move at
least 90 days in advance of the required move. In this context, the term
“persons” includes residential occupants (both homeowners and
tenants), businesses (including non-profit organizations), and farms.
occupant of a residence cannot be required to move until at least 90
days after a comparable replacement dwelling has been made ready for
occupancy. Only in unusual circumstances (such as when continued
occupancy would constitute a substantial danger to the health or safety
of the occupants) could vacation of the property be required in less
than 90 days.
Agency will make every effort to reach an agreement with you during
negotiations. You may provide additional information, and make
reasonable counter offers and proposals for the Agency to consider. When
it is in the public interest, most agencies may use the information
provided as a basis for administrative and legal settlements, as
an agreement cannot be reached, the Agency can acquire the property by
exercising its power of eminent domain. It will do this by instituting
formal condemnation proceedings with the appropriate State or Federal
the property is being acquired directly by a Federal Agency, the
condemnation action will take place in a Federal court and Federal
procedures will be followed. If the property is being acquired by anyone
else that has condemnation authority, the condemnation action will take
place in State court and the procedures will depend upon State law.
many States, a board of viewers or commissioners, or a similar body,
will initially determine the amount of compensation you are due for the
property. You and the Agency will be allowed to present information to
the court during all proceedings. If you or the Agency are dissatisfied
with the board’s determination of compensation, a trial by a judge or
a jury may be scheduled. The final amount of just compensation will be
set by the court after it has heard all arguments.
Expenses - Normally, the Agency will not reimburse you for costs
incurred as a result of condemnation proceedings. The Agency will
reimburse you, however, under any of the following conditions:
court determines that the Agency cannot acquire your property by
condemnation proceedings are abandoned by the Agency without an agreed
initiate an inverse condemnation action and the court agrees with you
that the Agency has taken your real property rights without the payment
of just compensation, or the Agency elects to settle the case without
further legal action.
Agency may also be subject to State laws that require reimbursement for
these or other condemnation costs.
Assurances or Certifications
Any Agency receiving Federal financial assistance for a program or project must assure or certify to the Federal Agency providing funds that in acquiring real property it agrees to the following:
Agency will comply with the land acquisition policies in the regulations
governing real property acquisitions (49 CFR PART 24) to the greatest
extent possible under State law. Nearly all the States can comply with
all of the regulations.
· The Agency will pay or reimburse property owners for the incidental expenses needed to transfer real property to the Agency. In addition, the Agency will pay a property owner's litigation expenses if:
there is a court judgement [sic] that an Agency cannot acquire the
owner’s real property by condemnation,
the Agency abandons condemnation proceedings, or
the court rules in favor of the owner in an inverse condemnation
requirement for assurances or certification guarantees that you will be
treated fairly and equitably by Agencies acquiring real property for
federally funded projects and programs. The information in this brochure
should assist you in understanding the requirements that must be met by
Agencies, and your rights and obligations.
Part Two: Your Rights and Benefits as a Displaced Person Under the Federal Relocation Assistance Program
Declaration of Policy
purpose of this title is to establish a uniform policy for fair and
equitable treatment of persons displaced as a result of Federal and
federally assisted programs in order that such persons shall not suffer
disproportionate injuries as a result of programs designed for the
benefit of the public as a whole.”
a changing America, government programs designed to benefit the public
as a whole often result in acquisition of private property, and
sometimes in the displacement of people from their residences,
businesses or farms.
As a means of providing uniform and equitable treatment for those persons displaced, your government passed the “Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970,” and the “Uniform Relocation Act Amendments of 1987.”
two laws are the foundation for the information discussed in this
brochure provides general information regarding relocation assistance
advisory services and relocation payments. Section I contains
information about persons displaced from a residence, Section II
provides information about relocation assistance advisory services.
Section III contains information for displaced businesses, farms and
nonprofit organizations. These policies and provisions are now contained
in a government-wide single rule under 49 CFR Part 24. The rule provides
the regulations for all Federal and federally-aided programs and
you are required to move as a result of a Federal or federally assisted
program or project, a relocation counselor will contact you. The
counselor will answer your specific questions and provide additional
information you may need. If you have a disability that prevents you
from reading or understanding this brochure, you will be provided
appropriate assistance. You should notify the Agency of any special
requirements for assistance.
- In most
States and Territories, relocation assistance advisory services and
payments are administered at the local level by an Agency responsible
for the acquisition of real property and/or the displacement of people
from property to be used for a federally funded program or project. The
Agency may be a Federal Agency, a State Agency, a local political
subdivision such as a county or a city, or a person carrying out a
program or project with Federal financial assistance. An Agency may also
contract with a qualified individual or firm to administer the
relocation program, but the Agency remains responsible for the program.
- Any lawful activity, with the exception of a farm operation, conducted
primarily for the purchase, sale, lease, and rental of personal or real
property, or for the manufacture, processing and/or marketing of
products, commodities, or any other personal property; or for the sale
of services to the public; or solely for the purpose of this Act, an
outdoor advertising display or displays, when the display(s) must be
moved as a result of the project.
Person - Any
person (individual, family, partnership, association or corporation) who
moves from real property, or moves personal property from real property
as a direct result of (1) the acquisition of the real property, in whole
or in part, (2) a written notice of intent to acquire from the Agency,
(3) the initiation of negotiations for the purchase of the real property
by the Agency, or (4) a written notice requiring a person to vacate real
property for the purpose of rehabilitation or demolition of the
improvement(s), provided the displacement is permanent and the property
is needed for a Federal or federally assisted program or project.
- Any activity conducted solely or primarily for the production of one
or more agricultural products or commodities, including timber, for sale
and home use, and customarily producing such products or commodities in
sufficient quantity to be capable of contributing materially to the
A public or private entity that has established its nonprofit status
under applicable Federal or State law.
or Project -
Any activity or series of activities undertaken by a Federal Agency, or
any activity undertaken by a State or local Agency with Federal
financial assistance in any phase of the activity.
Business - A
business having not more than 500 employees working at a site, which is
the location of economic activity and:
the site will be acquired for a program or project, or
the business will be displaced by a program or project.
does not include outdoor advertising signs, displays, or devices.
I: Information for Persons Displaced from a Residence Moving Costs -
Individuals and Families
you qualify as a displaced person, you are entitled to reimbursement of
your moving costs and certain related expenses incurred in moving. The
methods of moving and the various types of moving cost payments are
individuals and families may choose to be paid on the basis of actual,
reasonable moving costs and related expenses, or according to a fixed
moving cost schedule. However, to assure your eligibility and prompt
payment of moving expenses, you should contact the relocation counselor
from the Agency before you move.
Can Choose Either:
Actual Reasonable Moving Costs
may be paid for your actual reasonable moving costs by a professional
mover, plus related expenses, or you may move yourself. Reimbursement
will be limited to a 50-mile distance in most cases. Related expenses
involved in the move may include:
Packing and unpacking personal property.
Disconnecting and reconnecting household appliances.
Temporary storage of personal property.
Insurance while property is in storage or transit.
Transfer of telephone service and other similar utility re-connections.
Other expenses considered eligible by the Agency.
expenses must be considered necessary and reasonable by the Agency and
supported by paid receipts or other evidence of expenses incurred.
Fixed Moving Cost Schedule
Or you may choose to be paid on the basis of a fixed moving cost schedule established for your State of residence.
The amount of the payment is based on the number of rooms in your dwelling. Your relocation counselor will be able to tell you the exact amount you will be eligible to receive if you select this option. The schedule is designed to include all of the expenses incurred in moving, including those services that must be purchased from others. The owner of a displaced mobile home may be entitled to a payment for the cost of moving the mobile home to a replacement site on an actual cost basis.
mobile home occupants (owners or tenants) may also be
eligible for a payment for moving personal property from the mobile
home such as furniture, appliances and clothing on an actual
cost basis, or on the basis of a moving cost schedule. For a complete
explanation of all moving cost options involving a mobile home,
please discuss the matter with your relocation counselor.
housing payments can be better understood if you become familiar with
the definition of “comparable” and “decent, safe, and sanitary.”
Comparable Replacement Housing
“comparable” replacement means that your present dwelling and
replacement dwelling are functionally
equivalent. A comparable replacement dwelling must be
decent, safe and sanitary, and functionally
equivalent to your present dwelling.
not necessarily identical to your present dwelling, a comparable
replacement dwelling should be capable of contributing to a
comparable style of living and should
contain amenities similar to those found in the dwelling from which you
are being displaced.
addition, a comparable replacement dwelling should be:
Adequate in size to accommodate the
occupants. (e.g., you and your family).
Located in an area that is not subject to
unreasonable adverse environmental conditions.
Located in an area that is not less
desirable than your present location with respect to public utilities
and commercial and public facilities.
Reasonably accessible to
your place of employment. Located on a
site that is typical in
size for residential
development with normal
site improvements. Currently available on the private
Within your financial means.
If you are a tenant and the portion of the monthly rent and utility costs you must continue to pay for a replacement dwelling unit, after receiving a rental assistance payment, does not exceed the monthly rent and utility costs that you paid for the displacement dwelling unit, or, if your portion of the payment for the replacement unit does not exceed 30% of your gross household monthly income, the replacement unit is considered to be within your financial means.
you are a homeowner and you have received a purchase supplement (see
page 2-12), and any additional amount that might be required under
Housing of Last Resort (see pages 2-19 and 2-20), the replacement
dwelling is considered to be within your financial means.
Decent, Safe, and Sanitary Housing
safe, and sanitary” (DSS) replacement housing must meet all the
minimum requirements established by Federal regulations and conforms to
applicable housing and occupancy codes.
The dwelling shall:
Be structurally sound, weather tight, and in good repair.
Contain a safe electrical wiring system adequate for lighting and
Contain a heating system capable of sustaining a healthful temperature
(of approximately 70 degrees) except in those areas where local climatic
conditions do not require such a system.
Be adequate in size with respect to the number of rooms and area of
living space to accommodate the displaced person(s).
Contain a well-lighted and ventilated bathroom providing privacy to the
user and containing a sink, bathtub or shower stall, and a toilet, all
in good working order and properly connected to appropriate sources of
water and sewage drainage system.
Contain a kitchen area with a fully usable sink, properly connected to
potable hot and cold water and to a sewage drainage system, with
adequate space and utility connections for a stove and refrigerator.
Have unobstructed ingress and egress to safe, open space at ground
Be free of any barriers, which prevent reasonable ingress, egress, or
use of the dwelling in the case of a handicapped displaced person.
Types of Payments
housing payments are separated into three basic types
and depend on whether you are an owner or
a tenant and how long you have lived on the property being acquired
prior to negotiations:
Purchase supplement for owner occupants of 180 days or more;
Rental assistance for owner occupants and tenants of 90 days or more;
Down payment for owner occupants of 90 to 179 days and tenants of 90
days or more.
Complete details on length of occupancy requirements follow.
The Two Basic Occupancy Time Periods and What You Are Entitled To
are two basic length-of-occupancy
requirements, which determine the
type of replacement housing payment you are entitled to.
simply means counting the number of days that you occupied the dwelling
before the date of initiation of negotiations by the acquiring Agency
for the purchase of the property. The term “initiation of
negotiations” means the date the acquiring Agency makes the first
personal contact with the owner of real property, or his/her
representative, to provide a written offer for the property to be
acquired. Owners who were in occupancy 180 days or more prior to the
initiation of negotiations may be eligible
for a purchase supplement up to $22,500 or a rental
assistance payment up to $5,250.
you are a tenant who has been in occupancy for 90 days or more prior to
the initiation of negotiations, you may be
eligible for a rental assistance payment or a down
payment up to $5,250. If you are an owner who has been in occupancy from
90 days to 179 days prior to the initiation of negotiations, you may
be eligible for a rental assistance payment or a down
payment up to $5,250, however, the down payment cannot exceed the amount
of the payment you would have received if you had been a 180-day owner.
you were in occupancy at the time of the initiation of negotiations, but
less than 90 days prior to that date, you will be considered a displaced
person entitled to relocation assistance advisory services and moving
payments. You may also be entitled to a rental assistance payment if
comparable replacement rental housing is not available at a monthly
rental rate of 30% or less of your gross monthly household income. If
you are required to pay rent and utilities in excess of 30% for a comparable
replacement dwelling unit, you may
be eligible for a rental
assistance payment under Housing of Last Resort because comparable
replacement housing is not available within your financial means. If you
do not meet the length-of-occupancy requirements you should meet with
your relocation counselor for an explanation of the relocation benefits
that you may be eligible to receive.
Purchase Supplement: Owner Occupants of 180 Days or More
you are an owner and have occupied your home for 180 days or more
immediately prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition
of your property, you may be eligible
-- in addition to the market value of your property -- for a
supplemental payment, not to exceed $22,500 for all costs necessary to
purchase a comparable decent, safe, and
sanitary replacement dwelling.
The Agency will compute the maximum payment you are eligible to receive. You must purchase and occupy a DSS replacement dwelling within one year from the date of your displacement.
The Purchase Supplement Includes:
The price differential payment is the amount by which the cost of a replacement dwelling exceeds the acquisition cost of the displacement dwelling. The price differential payment and the following payments are in addition to the acquisition price paid for your property.
Increased Mortgage Interest Costs
You may be reimbursed for increased mortgage interest costs if the interest rate on your new mortgage exceeds that of your present mortgage. To be eligible your acquired dwelling must have been encumbered by a bona fide mortgage, which was a valid lien for at least 180 days prior to the initiation of negotiations.
may also be reimbursed for other expenses
such as reasonable costs incurred for title search,
recording fees, and certain other closing
costs, but not including prepaid expenses such
as real estate taxes and property insurance.
total amount of the purchase supplement cannot exceed $22,500, according
to the law.
Example of A Price Differential
Agency purchases your property for $100,000. After a thorough study of
the available comparable residential properties on the open market, the
Agency determines that a comparable replacement property will cost
$116,500. If you purchase a DSS replacement property for $116,500, you
will be eligible for a price differential payment of $16,500; see
you purchase a DSS replacement property costing more than $116,500, you
pay the difference as shown in Example B. If your purchase price is less
than $116,500 the price differential payment will be based on your
actual cost; see Example C. The price differential payment you will
receive depends on how much you actually spend on a replacement dwelling
as shown in the examples on the following page.
of Comparable Replacement $ 116,500
Price of Your Property _–_1_0_0_,_0_0_0
Price Differential Payment $ 16,500
Cost of Replacement Property $ 116,500
Purchase Price as Comparable)
Price of Your Property _–_1_0_0_,_0_0_0
Differential Payment $ 16,500
Cost of Replacement Property $ 125,000
Price of Your Property _–_1_0_0_,_0_0_0
Price Differential Payment __–_1_6_,_5_0_0
Are Responsible for this Amount $ 8,500
Cost of Replacement Property $ 114,000
Price of Your Property _–_1_0_0_,_0_0_0
Price Differential Payment is – 14,000
based on your actual cost)
Assistance: Owner Occupants and Tenants of 90 Days or More
occupants and tenants of 90 days or more may
be eligible for a rental assistance payment. To be
eligible for a rental assistance payment, tenants and owners must have
been in occupancy at least 90 days immediately preceding the initiation
of negotiations for the acquisition of the property.
payment was designed to enable you to rent a comparable decent, safe,
and sanitary replacement dwelling for a 42 month period. If you choose
to rent a replacement dwelling and the cost of rent and utilities are
higher than you have been paying, you may be eligible for a rental
assistance payment up to $5,250.
Agency will determine the maximum payment you
may be eligible to receive in
accordance with established procedures. The rental
assistance payment will be paid in a lump sum unless the Agency
determines that the payment should be paid in installments. You must
rent and occupy a DSS replacement dwelling
within one year of the date of your displacement to be eligible.
an example of how a rental assistance computation is prepared by the
Agency, let’s assume that you have been paying $500 per month rent for
the dwelling unit occupied by you and purchased by the Agency. You also
pay $150 per month rent for the utilities, (heat, light, water, and
sewer). After a study of the rental market, the Agency determines that a
replacement rental unit, which is DSS and comparable to your unit, is
available for $595 per month. It is estimated that average monthly
utility costs for the replacement unit will be $175 per month. The
maximum rental assistance payment you can receive is $120 per month for
a 42 month period, or a total of $5,040. The rental assistance payment
computation always includes the cost of the four basic
utilities, (heat, light, water and sewer) [IMPORTANT
NOTE: Air Conditioning is Not Mentioned], as well as the
cost of the rent. If the rent includes utilities a separate computation
will not be necessary.
A. If you
select a replacement dwelling unit that rents for $650 per month plus
utilities, despite the availability of comparable DSS replacement rental
units that rent for $595 per month plus utilities, you will still
receive only the maximum amount computed by the Agency, or $5,040. In
other words, you must pay the additional $55 per month yourself.
B. If you
select a replacement dwelling unit that rents for more than your present
unit, but less than the amount determined by the Agency as necessary to
rent a comparable unit, your payment will be based on actual cost. For
example, assume you select a replacement dwelling unit that rents for
$575 per month plus $165 for utilities. On the basis of actual cost you
will be eligible for a payment of $90 per month for 42 months, or
owners who are interested in renting a replacement property should
contact the Agency for a complete explanation of this option since the
computation is more complex.
Payment: Owner Occupants of 90 to 179 Days and Tenants of 90 Days or
of 90 to 179 days and tenants of 90 days or more may be eligible for a
down payment and incidental expenses, not to exceed $5,250. The Agency
will determine the maximum down payment you may be eligible to receive
based on its computation for a rental assistance payment discussed on
page 2-15, or a maximum of $5,250. However, the payment for a displaced
owner occupant cannot exceed the amount of the payment that would be
received by a 180 day owner for the same property as explained on page
relocation counselor will
be able to explain how the Agency determines the maximum down payment
reimbursable expenses include the reasonable costs of a title search,
recording fees, and certain other closing costs but do not include
prepaid expenses such as real estate taxes and property insurance. You
may also be eligible for the reimbursement of loan origination or
assumption fees, if such fees are normal to real estate transactions in
your area and they do not represent prepaid interest. The combined
amount of the down payment and incidental expenses cannot exceed the
maximum payment of $5,250.
Payment: Owner Occupants of 90 to 179 Days and Tenants of 90 Days or
1 Example 2 Example 3
Down Payment $ 5,000 $ 5,000 $ 4,500
and Incidental Costs +____9_5_0_ +____9_5_0_ +_____7_5_0
Amount Needed $ 5,950 $ 5,950 $ 5,250
Down Payment _–_4_,_8_0_0_ _–_5_,_2_5_0_ –___5_,_2_5_0
Person Pays $ 1,150 $ 700 $ 0
of Down Payment and Examples.
you are a owner occupant of 90-179 days or a tenant of 90 days or more,
you may be eligible for a down payment up to $5,250. The
amount of a down payment you will receive depends upon Agency policy.
Many agencies will limit such assistance to the amount of the computed
rental assistance payment for a tenant or an eligible homeowner,
however, the maximum payment cannot exceed
$5,250. Refer to page 2-15 for a detailed explanation of
a rental assistance computation.
the previous page, in example 1, the total amount needed to purchase the
property exceeded the Agency payment of $4,800, making it necessary for
the displaced person to make up the difference of $1,150. In example 2,
the displaced person must pay $700 in addition to the Agency payment,
but in example 3, the Agency payment was sufficient to cover the total
amount needed. It will not be unusual in today’s inflated real
estate market to need more for down payment and closing costs than the
maximum payment established by
law, however, the payment should be a great help if it enables a
displaced tenant to become a homeowner.
computation of a down payment for an owner occupant of 90 to 179 days is
limited to the amount an owner would have received if the payment were
computed on the basis of a purchase supplement for a 180-day owner. See
computations if you are a short term owner of 90 to 179 days. Displaced
owner occupants of 180 days or more are not eligible for down payment
of Last Resort
most projects, an adequate supply of housing will be available for sale
and for rent, and the benefits provided will be sufficient to enable you
to relocate to comparable housing. However, there may be projects in
certain locations where the supply of available housing is insufficient
to provide the necessary housing for those persons being displaced. When
a housing shortage occurs, the Agency will solve the problem by the
administrative process called Housing of Last Resort.
comparable housing is not available, or it is not
available within the maximum $5,250 or $22,500 payment limits, it
must be provided before you are required to move.
Agency may provide the necessary housing
in a number of ways, such as:
1. Purchasing an existing comparable residential property and making it available to the displaced person in exchange for the displacement property.
2. The relocation and rehabilitation (if necessary) of a dwelling purchased from the project area by the Agency and making it available to the displaced person in exchange for the displacement property.
3. The purchase, rehabilitation and/or construction of additions to an existing dwelling to make it comparable to a particular displacement property.
4. The purchase of land and the construction of a new replacement dwelling comparable to a particular displacement property when comparables are not otherwise available.
5. The purchase of an existing dwelling, removal of barriers and/or rehabilitation of the structure to accommodate a handicapped displaced person when suitable comparable replacement dwellings are not available.
6. A replacement housing payment in excess of the maximum $5,250 or $22,500 payment limits.
A direct loan which will enable the
displaced person to construct or contract for the construction of a
decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling.
All eligible displaced persons have a freedom of choice in the selection of replacement housing, and the Agency will not require any displaced person, without his/her written consent, to accept a replacement dwelling provided by the Agency. If a displaced person decides not to accept the replacement housing offered by the Agency, the displaced person may secure a replacement dwelling of his/her choice, provided it meets DSS housing standards.
you are eligible for replacement housing under the
Housing of Last Resort program, you will
be so informed by the relocation
counselor, who will thoroughly
explain the program.
To All Persons Displaced from a Residence
The most important thing to remember is that the replacement dwelling you select must meet the basic “decent, safe, and sanitary” standards.
not execute a sales contract or a lease agreement until a representative
from the Agency has inspected and certified in writing that the dwelling
you propose to purchase or rent does meet the basic standards. Please do
not jeopardize your right to receive a replacement housing payment by
moving into a substandard dwelling.
Housing - The
Fair Housing Law (actually Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and
Title VIII of the Civil rights Act of 1968) sets forth the policy of the
United States to provide, within constitutional limitations,
for fair housing throughout the United States. These Acts and Executive
Order 11063 prohibits discriminatory practices in the purchase and
rental of housing based on religion, sex, or national origin.
Whenever possible, minority persons shall be given reasonable opportunities to relocate to decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwellings, not located in an area of minority concentration, that are within their financial means.
policy, however, does not require an acquiring Agency to provide a
displaced person with a larger payment than is necessary to enable a
person to relocate to a comparable replacement dwelling outside of an
area of minority concentration.
II: Information on Relocation Services
individual, family, business or farm displaced by a Federal or federally
assisted program shall be offered relocation
assistance services for
the purpose of locating a suitable replacement property. Relocation
services are provided by qualified personnel employed by the Agency. It
is their goal and desire to be of service to you, and assist in any way
possible to help you successfully relocate.
they are there to help and advise you;
be sure to make full use of their services. Do not hesitate to ask
questions, and be sure you understand fully all of your rights and
benefits. Any individual who has a disability will be provided
assistance needed to locate and move to a replacement dwelling or site.
The individual should notify the Agency of any special requirements for
Relocation Counselor Will
relocation counselor from
the Agency will contact you personally. Relocation
services and payments will be explained to you in accordance with your
eligibility. During the initial interview, your
housing needs and desires will be determined as well as your need for
assistance. You cannot be required to move unless at
least one comparable replacement dwelling is made available to you. When
possible, comparable housing will be inspected prior to being
made available to you in order to assure that it meets decent, safe, and
addition, if you desire, the relocation
counselor will give you current listings of other
available replacement housing. Transportation will be provided to
inspect available housing, especially if you are elderly or handicapped.
The Agency will also provide counseling or
help you get assistance from other available sources as a means of
minimizing hardships in adjusting to your new location.
You will also be provided with information concerning other Federal, State, and local housing persons.
Business and Farm Assistance
The relocation counselor will maintain listings of commercial properties and farms whenever businesses and farms are displaced. Steps will be taken to minimize economic harm to displaced businesses and to increase the likelihood of their being able to relocate back into the affected community. The counselor will also explore and provide advice as to possible sources of funding and assistance from other local, State, and Federal agencies.
Social Services Provided by Other Agencies
Your relocation counselor will be familiar with the service provided by other public and private Agencies in your community. If you have special problems the counselor will make every effort to secure the services of those Agencies with trained personnel who have the expertise to help you. Make your needs known in order that you may receive the help you need.
In Addition to Personal Contacts…
addition to personal contacts by the relocation
counselor, the Agency may
establish a relocation office on or near a project.
Project relocation offices are usually
open during hours convenient to those persons being
displaced, including evening hours -- when
considered necessary by the Agency. The persons employed
in the project relocation office will be
happy to assist you. The office maintains a
variety of information that should be helpful to you,
Listings of Available Replacement
Local Housing Ordinances
Interest Rates and Terms
Typical Down Payments
VA and FHA Loan Requirements
Real Property Taxes
Consumer Education Literature on Housing
Visit your relocation office if one has been established. You will be more than welcome.
Relocation Advisory Assistance Checklist
checklist is a summary of the relocation
advisory assistance you may reasonably expect to receive
if you are displaced by a Federal or federally assisted project. In
addition to the services listed, the Agency is required to coordinate
its relocation activities with other Agencies causing displacements to
ensure that all persons displaced receive fair and consistent relocation
The relocation counselor must personally interview displaced persons to:
Determine their needs and preferences.
Explain relocation benefits.
Offer transportation if necessary.
Assure the availability of a comparable
property in advance of displacement.
Provide current listing of comparable
Provide the amount of the replacement
housing in writing.
Inspect houses for DSS ["Decent,
Safe, and Sanitary"] acceptability.
Supply information on other federal and
state programs offering assistance to displaced persons.
Provide counseling to minimize hardships.
Another Important Benefit
adverse effects on:
Social Security eligibility
relocation payment received will be considered as income for the purpose
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or for the purposes of determining
eligibility or the extent of eligibility of any person for assistance
under the Social Security Act or any other Federal law (except for any
Federal law providing low income housing
Right of Appeal
aggrieved person may file a written appeal with the head of the Agency
if the person believes the Agency has failed to properly determine his
or her eligibility for relocation assistance advisory services, or the
amount of a relocation payment.
you have a grievance, you will be given a prompt and full opportunity to
be heard. You will also have the right to be represented by legal
counsel or other representative in connection with the appeal, (but
solely at your own expense). The Agency will promptly review your appeal
and consider all pertinent justification and information available to
ensure a fair and full review. The Agency will provide you with a
written determination as well as an explanation of the decision.
If you are still dissatisfied with the relief granted, the Agency will
recommend that you seek a judicial review.
Section III: Information for Businesses, Farms, and Nonprofit Organizations
Moving Cost Reimbursement
Reimbursement: Businesses, Farms, and Nonprofit Organizations
or tenants may be paid on
the basis of actual reasonable moving costs and related expenses or,
under certain circumstances, a fixed payment.
Actual reasonable moving expenses may be
paid when the move is performed by a professional mover
or if you move yourself. Related expenses,
such as personal property losses, expenses in finding a replacement
site, and reestablishment expenses, may
also be reimbursable.
Or you may be eligible for
a fixed payment of not less than $1,000 nor more than $20,000 in lieu of
the payments listed in A. above. The fixed payment is based on a two
year average of the annual net earnings of a business or farm operation.
To qualify for a fixed
payment, certain conditions must be met.
See page 2-31 for a detailed explanation of the fixed payment. If you
represent a nonprofit organization, this payment is computed
differently. Contact your relocation
counselor for more details.
Types of Payments
reasonable moving costs, including:
Personal Property Losses
Expenses in Finding a Replacement Location
payment in lieu of moving costs, from:
$1,000 to $20,000 Equal to Average Annual Net Earnings
Actual Cost Move
may be paid the actual,
reasonable and necessary costs of your move when the move is performed
by a professional mover or when you elect to move yourself under this
option, however all of your moving costs must be supported by paid
receipts or other evidence of expenses incurred. In addition to the
transportation costs of your personal property, certain
other expenses may also be reimbursable, such as
packing, crating, unpacking and uncrating, and the disconnecting,
dismantling, removing, reassembling, and reinstalling relocated
machinery, equipment and other personal property. Other
expenses such as professional services necessary for
planning and carrying out the move, temporary storage costs, and the
cost of licenses, permits and certifications may
also be reimbursable. This is not intended to be an all
inclusive list of moving related expenses. Your
relocation counselor will provide you with a complete
explanation of reimbursable expenses.
Estimated Cost Move
If you agree to take full responsibility for all or part of the move of your business or farm operation, the Agency may approve a payment not to exceed the lower of two acceptable bids or estimates obtained by the Agency from qualified moving firms, moving consultants, or a qualified Agency staff employee. A low cost or uncomplicated move may be based on a single bid or estimate at the Agency’s discretion. The advantage of this moving option is the fact that it relieves the displaced business or farm operator from documenting all moving expenses. The Agency may make the payment without additional documentation as long as the payment is limited to the amount of the lowest acceptable bid or estimate.
Direct Losses of Tangible Personal Property
businesses, farms, and nonprofit organizations may
be eligible for a payment for the actual
direct loss of tangible personal property, which is
incurred as a result of the move or discontinuance of the operation.
This payment will be based upon the value
of the item for continued use at the displacement site less the proceeds
from its sale or the estimated cost of moving the item, whichever
is the lesser.
Your relocation counselor will explain this procedure in detail if you are faced with this problem.
Searching Expenses for Replacement Property
Displaced businesses, farms, and nonprofit organizations are entitled to reimbursement for actual reasonable expenses incurred in searching for a replacement property, not to exceed $1,000. Expenses may include transportation, meals, and lodging when away from home; the reasonable value of the time spent during the search; fees paid to real estate agents, brokers, or consultants; and other expenses determined to be reasonable and necessary by the acquiring Agency.
A small business, farm or nonprofit organization may be eligible for a payment, not to exceed $10,000, for expenses actually incurred in relocating and reestablishing the enterprise at a replacement site. To qualify, the business, farm or nonprofit organization must have at least one but not more than 500 employees working at the site being affected who will be displaced by a program or project.
Reestablishment expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Repairs or improvements to the replacement real property required by Federal, State or local laws, codes or ordinances.
2. Modifications to the replacement real property to make the structure(s) suitable for the business operation.
3. Installation of exterior advertising signs.
4. The cost of installing utilities from the right-of-way line to the structure(s) or improvements on the replacement site.
5. Redecoration or replacement such as painting, wallpapering, paneling and carpeting, when required by the condition of the replacement site.
6. The cost of license fees and permits when not covered as a moving expense.
7. Marketing studies, feasibility surveys and soil testing.
8. Advertising the new business location.
9. Professional real estate services needed for the purchase or lease of a replacement site.
The estimated increased costs of operation at the replacement site
during the first two years for items, such as:
Lease or rental charges,
Personal or real property taxes,
Insurance premiums, and,
– Utility charges (excluding impact fees).
11. One time assessments or impact fees for anticipated heavy utility usage.
Other items that the Agency considers
essential for the reestablishment of the business or
Fixed Payment (In Lieu)
businesses, farms and nonprofit organizations may
be eligible for a fixed payment in lieu of (in place of)
actual moving expenses, personal property losses, searching expense, and
reestablishment expenses. The fixed payment may not be less than $1,000
nor more than $20,000.
a business to be eligible for a fixed payment, the Agency must determine
1. The business owns or rents personal property that must be moved due to the displacement.
2. The business cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of its existing patronage.
3. The business is not part of a commercial enterprise having more than three other businesses engaged in the same or similar activity, which are under the same ownership and are not being displaced by the Agency.
The business contributed materially to the income of the displaced
business operator during
two taxable years prior to displacement.
business operation that is engaged solely in the rental of space to
others is not eligible for a fixed payment.
includes the rental of space for residential or business purposes.
requirements for farms and nonprofit organizations are slightly
different than business requirements. If you are interested in a fixed
payment please consult your relocation
counselor for additional information if you are being
displaced from a farm or you represent a nonprofit organization.
The Computation of Your Fixed Payment (in Lieu)
The fixed payment
for a displaced business or farm is based upon the average annual net
earnings of the operation for the two taxable years immediately
preceding the taxable years in which it was displaced (or that two year
period deemed more representative by the Agency).
Net Annual Net Year
+ $18,500 = $35,000 ч 2 = $17,500
= Fixed Payment
computation for nonprofit organizations differs in that the payment is
computed on the basis of average annual gross revenues less
administrative expenses for the two-year period specified above. You
must provide the Agency with proof of net earnings to
support your claim. Proof of net earnings can be documented by income
tax returns, certified financial statements, or other
reasonable evidence acceptable to the Agency.
Department of the Interior - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service