Proposed Amendments to the Uniform Relocation Assistance Act Contained in S. 1108

B-148044: Published: Oct 19, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 1979.

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Information was provided on subjects not covered in earlier testimony on proposed amendments to the Uniform Relocation Act. However, an answer could not be provided on a request for the percentage of the average displaced person's relocation costs that involve additional costs for rent. GAO initially recommended that the rent component of the consumer price index be used as an indicator of changing costs of rental housing. GAO was also asked to elaborate on the effect of removing the current $15,000 limit on payments to assist displaced homeowners to purchase replacement housing that is: (1) decent and sanitary, and (2) comparable to the house previously owned by the displaced person. According to GAO, placing a limit on this payment would, in effect, be saying, "Our policy is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing as long as it doesn't cost too much to do so." It was noted, however, that arguments for keeping a limit on the payment rest on the belief that there should be a limit to how far the Federal Government will go in upgrading housing for a displaced person; it is possible that such a payment could be as high as $30,000 to $50,000. GAO suggested that if it is true that the computed payment using the criteria of the Act generally does not exceed $15,000, the issue of removing the payment limit centers on the acceptability of individual payments that may substantially exceed $15,000.

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