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Monitoring Acquisition/relocation Projects

Monitoring Acquisition/relocation Projects

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Monitoring Acquisition/relocation Projects

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  1. Monitoring Acquisition/relocation Projects William Von Klug, SR/WA, R/W-RAC January 13, 2009

  2. Soothsaying and Monitoring • Economic problems • Cause of economic problems • New president

  3. Predictions • One solution proposed is the create massive public work projects. This should entail federal funding of projects that will require the purchase of Right of Way • Because one of the causes of the economic problems was lack of regulation it is reasonable to assume that there will be closer monitoring of federally funded projects

  4. Why is there monitoring • Local agency is funded by another agency like FHWA, DHUD and similar agencies • State law established that a state agency had the power to oversee acquisition/relocation projects • Golden rule applies

  5. Definition • In depth monitoring review • By a technically proficient person • With an agreed upon purpose for the review

  6. In depth monitoring • Requires a visit to the displacing agency • Examination of case files • Interviews with displaced persons • Inspection of replacement dwellings/business sites • Review and confirmation of accuracy of documentation

  7. Technically proficient person • Person will have knowledge in area they are monitoring. • They may have limited experience in administering activities • They will have no personal experience in the cases they are monitoring • They will have to rely 100% on what they find in the files and the interviews they conduct.

  8. Agreed upon purpose • Project or program was carried out in compliance with statutory or regulatory provisions • Emphasis should be twofold • Protection of people impacted by project • Protection of public from unnecessary and inappropriate payments

  9. The real world agreement of purpose • There is not always a meeting of the minds • A HUD directive 1374 .0 stated that the purpose of in depth monitoring was to insure that there was protection for occupants and/or owners of real property that is acquired, demolished or rehabilitated.

  10. What a monitor is really looking for • Was advisory assistance offered? • Were people treated fairly? • Paid just compensation • Received all relocation benefits • Were the public funds protected? • Was just compensation exceeded? • Were people paid greater relocation benefits than necessary

  11. Step one • Make sure there is a meeting of the minds of the purpose of the monitoring • This actually begins when you ask for the funding • The funding agency may give you indication of their emphasis • Know the rules of the funding agency • Know the philosophy of the funding agency • Know the person that will be doing the monitoring

  12. Step 2Decide if the cost of the funding is worth it • Your agency may want to move so fast that compliance with the URA is not in their best interest • There may be philosophical differences between your agencies elected/appointed officials that makes strict compliance with URA difficult to accomplish

  13. Step 3Determine what policies are discretionary • There are many discretionary policies that an agency has the right to establish • Write policies for these discretionary areas • Adopt the policies

  14. Examples of discretionary policies • Administrative settlements • Occupancy standards • Self move procedures • Advanced payments • Documentation requirements for some payments • Appeal procedures • Other relocation payments

  15. An example of impact of differing policies • Background • Family of 5 living in two bedroom apartment • Family consists of 3 adults; a husband and wife and the wife’s brother and two children; a 14 year old male and a 13 year old female • Options for comparable depending on occupancy standards are two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom

  16. Pre approval of policies and procedures • After you have created policies and procedures send them to the funding agency that will be monitoring your projects. • Ask them to review, comment and approve the policies and procedures • Pick your battles

  17. Step 4Adopt procedures for acquisition and relocation • Every agency is different agency must have a process set up to carry out activities whether they are completed by staff or consultants • Agency must have control of process • Process must be followed UNIFORMLY • Process must be followed consistently

  18. Documentation • Remember that the person monitoring the files does not have your knowledge of the case. They only know what is in the file • TRY TO HAVE THE FILE SET UP SO THAT IT CAN BE READ AS A STAND ALONE DOCUMENT • CONSIDER YOUR READER

  19. Documenting a relocation file • Brief narrative explaining why the entity was relocated • Copy of portion of relocation plan identifying entity • Relocation diary • Correspondence

  20. Documenting a relocation file • Relocation notices • Letter of eligibility should include Housing valuations • Requests for compensation • Copy of receipted checks • Copy of all claims • There should be a memo to the file explaining calculations; if appropriate

  21. Examples of documentationAcquisition • Acquisition file • A brief narrative why the parcel was acquired. Including the name of the project. • A copy of the appraisal • A copy of the review appraisal • A copy of the agencies establishment of just compensation • A copy of the offer of just compensation demonstrating that bona fide negotiations took place

  22. Examples of documentationAcquisition • The negotiators diary of the negotiations • A copy of closing documents • A narrative that explains any anomalies in the acquisition • Evidence that compensation was paid • A copy of deeds

  23. FINAL THOUGHTS • There will be more monitoring in the future • You need to understand what the specific monitor is looking for and recognize his/her philosophy • Pick your battles • Create and follow policies and procedures • Ignore your ego; your job is to fairly acquire and relocate people with public funds