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Overview of the Uniform Act (URA)

The Uniform Act, passed by Congress in 1970, is a federal law that establishes minimum standards for federally funded programs and projects that require the acquisition of real property (real estate) or displace persons from their homes, businesses, or farms. The Uniform Act's protections and assistance apply to the acquisition, rehabilitation, or demolition of real property for federal or federally funded projects.

  • 49 CFR Part 24 is the government-wide regulation that implements the URA.
  • HUD Handbook 1378 provides HUD policy and guidance on implementing the URA and 49 CFR Part 24 for HUD funded programs and projects.

This module covers URA requirements as they apply to HUD programs.

What are the URA's objectives?

  • To provide uniform, fair and equitable treatment of persons whose real property is acquired or who are displaced in connection with federally funded projects
  • To ensure relocation assistance is provided to displaced persons to lessen the emotional and financial impact of displacement
  • To ensure that no individual or family is displaced unless decent, safe, and sanitary (DSS) housing is available within the displaced person's financial means
  • To help improve the housing conditions of displaced persons living in substandard housing
  • To encourage and expedite acquisition by agreement and without coercion

How do URA requirements impact your project?

Agencies conducting a program or project under the URA must carry out their legal responsibilities to affected property owners and displaced persons. Agencies should plan accordingly to ensure that adequate time, funding and staffing are available to carry out their responsibilities.

Some of those responsibilities include:

  • For Real Property Acquisition
    • Appraise property before negotiations
    • Invite the property owner to accompany the appraiser during the property inspection
    • Provide the owner with a written offer of just compensation and a summary of what is being acquired
    • Pay for property before possession
    • Reimburse expenses resulting from the transfer of title such as recording fees, prepaid real estate taxes, or otherexpenses.
Please note that agency responsibilities for voluntary acquisitions differ. (Please see Voluntary Acquisition vs. Involuntary Acquisition in this training module for additional information.)
  • For Residential Displacements
    • Provide relocation advisory services to displaced tenants and owner occupants
    • Provide a minimum 90 days written notice to vacate prior to requiring possession
    • Reimburse for moving expenses
    • Provide payments for the added cost of renting or purchasing comparable replacement housing
  • For Nonresidential Displacements (businesses, farms, and nonprofit organizations)
    • Provide relocation advisory services
    • Provide a minimum 90 days written notice to vacate prior to requiring possession
    • Reimburse for moving and reestablishment expenses

Which HUD Community Development Programs are covered by URA Requirements?

URA requirements apply to HUD provided grants, loans, or contributions, including HOME, CDBG, or Section 108 loan guarantees. There are, however, a few exceptions to this general rule.

One such exception is the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI). On December 16, 2003, ADDI was signed into law under the American Dream Downpayment Act (Public Law 108-186). By law, ADDI is not subject to the URA requirements. See the URA Exemption for additional information on ADDI.

A sample listing of HUD programs covered by the URA is provided below. Note that this list is representative and it may change as new programs are enacted.

You should refer to HUD's program rules to help determine whether the URA covers a particular program. When in doubt, grantees should contact their HUD Regional Relocation Specialist for assistance.

  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) Entitlement Program
  • Section 108 Loan Guarantees
  • CDBG HUD Administered Small Cities Program
  • State CDBG Program
  • Urban Development Action Grants
  • HOME Investment in Affordable Housing
  • Rental Rehabilitation Loans
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
  • Supportive Housing Program
  • Emergency Shelter Grants
  • Transitional Housing Program
  • Permanent Housing Program for Handicapped Homeless Persons
  • Supplemental Assistance for Facilities to Assist the Homeless
  • Shelter Plus Care
  • Section 312 Rehabilitation Loans
  • Special Purpose Grants
  • Supportive Housing for the Elderly
  • Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities