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trative agency which followed an established procedure
designed to afford customary safeguards to affected

* *



Congress has broad legislative authority to impose conditions on the expenditure of funds in federally assisted programs. This basic principle was decided many years ago in a case involving a special tax imposed by the State of Arkansas for levee work, which was in violation of a contract between the State and the United States :

It is not doubted that the grant by the United States to the State upon conditions, and the acceptance of the grant by the State, constituted a contract. All the elements of a contract met in the transaction-competent parties, proper subject matter, sufficient consideration, and consent of minds. This contract was binding upon the State, and could not be violated by its legislation without infringement of the Consti

tution (McGee v. Mathis, 71 U.S. 143, 155 (1866). Another striking example of congressional control over its own funds in federally assisted programs may be found in the Federal-aid highway legislation, which was tested in State of Oklahoma v. United States Civil Service Commission, 330 U.S. 127 (1946). This case involved the application of the Hatch Act to a member of the Oklahoma State Highway Commission. After finding a violation of the act, the Civil Service Commission ruled that the highway commissioner should be discharged, and, if he were not, an order would be issued to the appropriate Federal agency to withhold certain highway grants to Oklahoma in an amount equal to the commission member's salary for 2 years. In upholding, the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Supreme Court said: “* * * the United States * * * does have power to fix terms upon which money allotments to States shall be disbursed" and “the 10th amendment does not forbid the exercise of this power in the way that Congress has proceeded in this case” (p. 143). The Court continued (pp. 143-144) :

*** As pointed out in United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100, 124, the 10th amendment has been consistently construed as not depriving the National Government of authority to resort to all means for the exercise of a granted power which are appropriate and plainly adapted to the permitted end. *** So, even though the action taken by Congress does have effect upon certain activities within the State, it has never been thought that such effect made the Federal act invalid. * * * The offer of benefits to a State by the United States dependent upon cooperation by the State with Federal plans, assumedly for the general welfare, is not unusual (State of Oklahoma v. United States Civil Service Commission, 330 U.S. 127, 143-144 (1956)).


The public policy of the Government is to be found in its statutes, and when they have not directly spoken, then in the decisions of the courts and the constant practice of the Government officials; but when the lawmaking power speaks upon a particular subject, over which it has constitutional power to legislate, public policy in such case is what the statute enacts (United States v. Trans-Missouri Freight 4880c., 166 U.S. 290, 340 (1897); Sunshine Coal Co. v. Adkins, 310 U.S. 381, 394 (1940); Olsen v. Nebraska, 313 U.S. 236, 246–247 (1941)). And as it was said in the Sunshine Coal case, supra, to the contention of “not an appropriate exercise of the congressional power” (p. 394):

Those matters, however, relate to questions of policy, to the wisdom of the legislation, and to the appropriateness of the remedy chosen-matters which are not our concern. If we endeavored to appraise them we would be trespassing on the


AND RELOCATION ASSISTANCE This chapter includes summaries of the laws providing for relocation payments and relocation assistance in Federal and federally assisted programs. The four tables listed below will be found at the end of the chapter: 1. “Maximum relocation payments authorized for Federal and

federally assisted programs. 2. "Some variations in items of relocation expense payable in

Federal and federally assisted programs. 3. "Statutory requirements for relocation assistance and assur

ance of standard housing in Federal and federally assisted

programs. 4. "Ten States with laws authorizing relocation payments that

differ substantially from the Federal-Aid Highway Act of

1962. Copies of pertinent legislation are included in appendix B.



The 1949 Housing Act, as amended, requires a local public agency carrying out a federally aided renewal project to have a feasible method for the relocation of displaced families and individuals in standard housing at prices or rents within their means. Originally an urban renewal displacee could be paid for moving expenses and the first month's rent in his new dwelling only if the total amount of the relocation payments for a project was less than the estimated cost of delays and eviction proceedings caused by families refusing to move. Amendments included in the Housing Act of 1956 authorized for the first time relocation payments for all urban renewal displacess, with the total cost to be paid by the Federal Government. Local public agencies were authorized to make payments to displaced families or individuals, and to displaced businesses and nonprofit organizations, for reasonable and necessary moving expenses and actual direct losses of property, to a maximum of $100 for a family or individual, and $2,000 for a business firm.

The maximum payment for businesses and nonprofit organizations was increased to $2,500, in 1957, and to $3,000, in 1959. The 1959 amendment also increased the maximum payment to families or individuals to $200. In 1961, Congress eliminated the statutory ceiling on business and nonprofit organization relocation payments. However, by regulation of the Housing and Home Finance Administration, payments may not exceed $25,000, and any claim greater than $10,000 must be submitted to Washington for approval.

The 1957 amendments also authorized HHFA to permit local public agencies to make fixed payments to displaced families or individuals in lieu of actual moving expenses and actual direct losses of property: An Urban Renewal Administration regulation, however, precludes a local public agency from including an allowance for actual direct losses of property in fixed payment schedules; nor may a displaced family or individual which receives a fixed payment file a claim for loss of property, even though he may have no alternative to acceptance of a fixed payment. When queried as to the legal basis for its regulation, representatives of the Urban Renewal Administration advised that the matter would be reexamined.

The Housing Act of 1959 also extended eligibility for relocation payments to persons and businesses displaced from urban renewal areas because of the acquisition of real property by a local public agency or by any other public body, such as a State highway department or a Federal agency. Coverage was also extended to displacements caused by code enforcement activities undertaken in connection with an urban renewal project, or by a program of voluntary rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements in accordance with an urban renewal plan.

The Housing Act of 1964 requires the establishment of relocation assistance programs in urban renewal areas for displaced families, individuals, and business concerns. The programs are to be designed to determine the needs of displacees for assistance, to provide information and assistance to minimize the hardships of displacement, and to assure the coordination of relocation activities with other project activities and other governmental activities in the community which might affect the relocation program.

In addition, the 1964 act authorizes relocation adjustment payments, to $500, for low or moderate income families and elderly individuals (62 or over) who are unable to secure public housing; and it provides for an additional relocation payment of $1,500 to a displaced business having an average annual net earning of less than $10,000, if the firm is not a part of an enterprise having an establishment outside the urban renewal area.

Finally, the 1964 Housing Act requires that relocation regulations include provisions to assure that relocation payments are made as promptly as possible after a move, without regard to any subsequent events relating to the property which do not bear on whether the displacement in fact occurred.


The Housing Act of 1964 authorizes, for the first time, relocation payments for all public housing project displaces. Local housing authorities may make the same relocation payments to families, in-dividuals, business concerns, and nonprofit organizations, as are authorized for urban renewal displaces.

Local housing authorities must demonstrate that there is a feasible method for relocating displaced families and individuals, and that there are, or are being provided, an adequate number of standard housing units to meet their needs.

The act does not, however, require local authorities to provide a relocation assistance program for displaced families, individuals, or business concerns, as is required in the urban renewal program.


The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 authorizes the HHFA Administrator to make grants or loans to help States and localities in financing the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, and improvement of facilities and equipment for mass transportation service.

The act requires, as a condition of financial assistance, that relocation planning and assistance be provided similar to that prescribed for urban renewal loans and grants, except that certain additional provisions on urban renewal relocation carried in the 1964 Housing Act are not included. The items omitted are: (1) the requirement for assurance of standard relocation housing for individuals (in contrast to families) ; (2) the requirement for a relocation assistance program; and (3) the provisions for relocation adjustment playments for low or moderate income families and elderly individuals, and to small business concerns.

As in the urban renewal and public housing programs, relocation payments are fully reimbursable by the Federal Government.


Public Law 88-629, approved October 6, 1964, authorizes the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to provide relocation services for individuals, families, and business concerns displaced from real property by actions of the United States or of the government of the District of Columbia (except the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency which already has such authority), such actions to include acquisitions of property for public work projects, condemnation of unsafe and unsanitary buildings, and enforcement of laws and regulations relating to housing.

The act requires that the Commissioners, before acquiring real property for any public works project of the government of the District of Columbia, shall make the same determinations with respect to the availability of housing for displaced families and individuals as for urban renewal projects.

The Commissioners are also authorized to make relocation payments to families, individuals, business concerns, and nonprofit organizations displaced by public works projects of the District of Columbia (except the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency

which already has appropriate authority), similar to payments authorized for urban renewal and public housing displacees, except for the relocation adjustment payments for low or moderate income families and elderly individuals, and small business concerns that were authorized only for urban renewal and public housing displacees in the Housing Act of 1964.

Finally, the act establishes the District of Columbia Relocation Assistance Office, within the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency, and provides that this office is to administer the relocation payments and provide the relocation services authorized by the act, and also to provide such services for urban renewal displacees.

It will be noted that only relocation services are authorized for displacees of the United States (as distinguished from displacees of the government of the District of Columbia). The act does not authorize relocation payments or require determinations as to the availability of replacement housing for displacees of the United States.


The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 provides that prior to approval of any project for right-of-way acquisition or actual construction, the Secretary of Commerce will require the State highway department to give satisfactory assurance that relocation advisory assistance will be provided for relocation of families displaced by the project.

The act does not require that advisory services be directed toward finding decent, safe, and sanitary housing; and it does not require advisory services for displaced individuals or businesses. The Bureau of Public Roads advises that, in fact, most highway departments do provide advisory services for businesses.

The act also requires the Secretary of Commerce to approve, as part of the cost of construction of any Federal-aid highway project, payments for moving expenses made by a State highway department or its agent to families, individuals, business concerns, or nonprofit organizations displaced from real property acquired for the project. Maximum payments allowed are $200 for a family or individual, and $3,000 for a business or nonprofit organization. Unlike the urban renewal program, reimbursement of actual direct losses of personal property is not authorized. Consequently, business concerns that discontinue ordinarily receive no payment. Moving expenses for business or nonprofit organizations are limited to a distance of 50 miles.

In general, the Federal share of the cost of moving expense payments is 90 percent on interstate projects, and 50 percent on other Federal-aid highway projects.

Under the Bureau of Public Roads regulation implementing the 1962 act, State highway departments are required to submit to the BPR division engineer detailed information as to the advisory services to be provided for families, and the State's procedures for reimbursing moving costs. The highway departments are required to establish an office having major responsibility for relocation assistance on a statewide basis. A local subsidiary office must be established for each project where there are 25 or more families to be relocated. On projects with fewer than 25 relocatees, relocation services may be rendered by individual contacts with the families by representatives from the central or other relocation assistance offices.

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