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The disparities in aid and resulting feelings of unequal treatment are even more extreme for displaced businesses since the two major displacing programs-urban renewal and highways differ markedly in their payments and services. Other programs extend little or no assistance to businesses.


Aside from the payments and advisory assistance described above, a number of other public programs have much to do with the ability of people and businesses to cope with the problems of relocation. Federal, State, and local housing programs can be used to expand the supply of sound low-cost housing, which is the prime requirement for successful relocation of families and individuals. Other welfare programs concerned with public assistance, employment security, job training, and aid to small businesses can alleviate some of the stresses of business relocation and help both owners and employees adjust to the economic shocks generated by displacement. State and local programs are too numerous and diverse to be reviewed here, but the major Federal programs can be summarized briefly.

Local planning for both residential and business relocation under urban renewal is facilitated by Federal grants that pay up to twothirds of the cost incurred in preparing a community renewal program (CRP) covering the full range of urban renewal action required to meet local needs. A community renewal program is intended to help a community approach its problems of blight on a citywide, rather than a piecemeal, basis. All the deteriorated and declining areas of the city can be identified and classified as to relative urgency and degree of urban renewal action needed. Included in the program is determination of relocation resources needed and available for renewal projects.81

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is authorized to make below-market interest loans for up to 20 years to help small business concerns reestablish themselves if they have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of displacement by an urban renewal project or any other construction conducted or financed by the Federal Government.32 Under the 1964 Housing Act, moreover, the SBA is also directed to provide relocation assistance and information for small business concerns to be displaced from urban renewal areas at the earliest practicable time.33 The Manpower Development and Training Act 34 and the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 35 provide additional help for retraining people whose jobs are eliminated by business failures.

With respect to providing relocation housing, preference for admission to new or existing low-rent public housing is provided by law for families of low income displaced by urban renewal or other action by governmental bodies.36 Section 221 of the National Housing Act authorizes the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to provide liberal mortgage insurance on new or rehabilitated housing for sale or rent to families displaced from urban renewal areas or by other governmental action. Section 221 (d) (3) provides a below-market or low-interest-rate rental housing program for displaced families and other low- and moderate-income families. Such mortgages are available in communities having an approved workable program and may be obtained by nonprofit corporations, limited dividend corporations, public bodies (except local housing authorities which provide only federally assisted low-rent public housing), and cooperatives.37. The low-income housing demonstration program authorizes exploration of new and improved means for providing housing for low-income families 38 ; and the urban renewal demonstration program makes grants for demonstration projects to improve urban renewal, including the relocation process.35 Finally, the 1965 Housing Act authorizes rent subsidies to enable displaced low-income families to live in moderaterent housing developments built by nonprofit sponsors with Federal financing.40

31 42 U.S.C.A. 1453(d). 215 U.S.C.A. 636 (d) (3). * Public Law 88-560, sec. 305(c)(3). * Public Law 88–214.

Public Law 884452.

RESULTS OF RELOCATION The performance of public agencies responsible for relocation is difficult to gage and is a subject of considerable controversy. Once again, more is known about experience with urban renewal than with the other progams that displace people, but even here the results are disputed. It is clear, however, that many forms of assistance authorized by law are often not given in practice. Between 1961 and 1964, for example, the Small Business Administration made only 278 loans to businesses displaced by Federal and federally aided programs. And of the 177,000 families, 66,000 individuals, and 39,000 businesses displaced by urban renewal between 1949 and September 30, 1963, only about half received relocation payments to which they were entitled by law. According to information presented by URA Commissioner William L. Slayton, relocation payments were made to 88,000 families, 32,000 individuals, and over 21,000 businesses from 1949 through June 30, 1963. These payments averaged $69 per family, $45 per individual, and $1,405 per business firm.42

The widespread incidence of business failure after displacement and the prevalence of substantial rent increases for commercial space after relocation have already been mentioned. The social and psychological


42 U.S.C.A. 1410(g). 37 12 U.S.C.A. 1715(1). B8 42 U.S.C.A. 1436. 29 42 U.S.C.A. 1452(a).

40 Public Law 89-117, sec. 101. As of January 1966, funds had not yet been appropriated to implement the rent subsidy program.

41 Information received from Small Business Administration, Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 1964. For further analysis of SBA loan operations, see study of Compensation and Assistance, op. cit., pp. 455-471.

A2 William L. Slayton, Commissioner, URA, Report on Urban Renewal. Statement before the Subcommittee on Housing, Committee on Banking and Currency, U.S. House of Repre. sentatives, Nov. 21, 1963 (Washington : Government Printing Office, 1964), p. 414.

toll of relocation has also been suggested. Little can be done to compensate people for the loss of familiar neighborhoods, the scattering of friends and relatives, the dispersal of churches and other local institutions, or the destruction of a small business built up over many years. Increased awareness of these effects of displacement has led in some cities to greater sensitivity in the choice of areas for renewal or highway locations, and to greater emphasis on neighborhood improvement rather than clearance in urban renewal.

There is little disagreement about the effect of relocation on the housing conditions of displaced families in the early years of urban renewal. Robert C. Weaver, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has stated that through the mid-1950's "relocation often created additional slums and brought blight into new areas" and that "relocation was often poorly done and human suffering frequently occasioned.” 43 Many current provisions for relocation assistance under urban renewal and many innovations in Federal housing programs were instituted in an effort to improve upon the poor quality of earlier relocation.

Renewal officials and outside observers disagree in their evaluation of more recent relocation experience. Statistics compiled from the reports of local renewal agencies indicate that over 90 percent of relocated families whose postrelocation housing conditions are known have moved into sound housing." Several informed critics of the program have questioned the reliability of these local reports; independent studies have generally reached less optimistic conclusions about the quality of postrelocation housing:45 Independent studies and a recent survey undertaken for HHFA agree in their finding that relocated families typically pay higher rents in their new housing:46 A recent review of a large number of relocation studies concludes that “on the whole relocation has made a disappointingly small contribution to the attainment of ‘a decent home in a suitable living environment for every American family. Given the premise that one of the cardinal aims of renewal and rehousing should be the improved housing welfare of those living in substandard conditions, it is questionable whether the limited and inconsistent gains reported in most studies represent an acceptable level of achievement."*17

* Robert C. Weaver, The Urban Complex: Human Values in Urban Life (Garden City, XY: Doubleday, 1964), pp. 53, 54.

William L. Slayton, Report on Urban Renewal, op. cit., p. 410. e See Chester W. Hartman. "The Housing of Relocated Families," Journal of the Ameri. can Institute of Planners, XXX (November 1964), pp. 266-286 ; Charles Abrams, quoted in "Meeting of Six Minds,” National Housing Conference, The Housing Yearbook, 1962 (New York: Abco Press, 1962), p. 11; Alvin L. Schorr, slums and Social Insecurity (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1963), pp. 62-67.

Chester W. Hartman, "The Housing of Relocated Families," op. cit.; Housing and Home Finance Agency, The Housing of Relocated Families (Washington: Office of the Administrator, HHFA, March 1965). The HHFA report is based on a special survey of relocation housing conducted in 1964 by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, which indicated that 94 percent of the families covered had been relocated in standard housing. This onding most be qualified by a number of limitations of the census survey: the study covered displaced families, not dis aced individuals ; of the original sample of 2.842 families, 542 were “lost" and no information was available on their rehousing ; no infos. mation is presented on how many relocated families were living in other areas slated for clearance ; the report presents aggregate data for the entire country, including many small cities outside metropolitan areas.

« Chester W. Hartman, "The Housing of Relocated Families," op. cit., p. 275.


The inadequacies of urban renewal relocation are a measure of the difficulty of the problem, for no program currently provides more generous or comprehensive relocation assistance than urban renewal. Shortcomings that have become apparent in urban renewal exeprience are probably magnified many times in displacement caused by other public programs. A first step toward improving relocation performance generally would be to standardize the assistance given to displaced people and business firms at least at the level now provided in urban renewal, and public housing.

It may be argued that the goal of improving housing conditions for displaced families is uniquely relevant to the statutory purposes of urban renewal-more so than to other public programs that displace people. Yet to marshal public resources for the sake of providing decent housing for all in renewal and housing programs, while tolerating governmental relocation procedures that retard progress toward the national housing goals, is surely self-defeating. The Commission has concluded that the provision of standard housing for all is a national goal of preeminent importance, and fully justifies requiring that standard housing be available to all those displaced by governmental programs, even if this approach occasionally means postponing progress in some public programs.

Aside from the importance of continued progress toward national housing goals, basic considerations of equity argue strongly_for standardizing relocation assistance and payments. President Kennedy thought in these terms in his 1962 transportation message to the Congress, when he recommended extending relocation assistance patterned on urban renewal provisions to the Federal aid highway program and the urban mass transportation program, in order to move toward equity among the various federally assisted programs causing displacement."

The Federal Government is still a long way from achieving this equity. Congressional action is needed to establish a uniform policy of relocation payments and advisory assistance for people and businesses displaced by direct Federal programs and by Federal grantin-aid programs. To assure equity inder other State and local programs as well, legislation is also needed at the State level to establish a uniform policy covering displacement resulting from State and local programs.

The relationship of adequate relocation to national housing goals, and national concern for equal treatment for all displacees, make improvements in relocation provisions of Federal grant programs a national issue rather than one that may be left to the discretion of States and cities receiving the grants. A local approach to relocation would in fact assure continued inequality of treatment, with each community setting its own standards. Adequate relocation is often considered peripheral to local program goals and consequently tends

to receive low priority.48 The need for Federal and State action is clear from the record of poor relocation performance in many cities and from the fact that a majority of States have not chosen to make highway relocation payments or are making payments below the maximum for which Federal reimbursement is authorized.

An important move toward uniform policy in Federal grant-in-aid programs would be to extend 100 percent Federal financing of relocations costs to all such programs. Currently the Federal Government pays full relocation costs, subject to certain statutory limits, for relocation under the urban renewal, public housing, and mass transportation programs. In the federally aided highway program, relocation costs are shared on the basis of the project cost-sharing formula: H) percent Federal aid on the interstate system and 50 percent on the primary-secondary highway system.

Similarly, the State interest in uniform relocation policy among different localities calls for a reexamination of the financing of relocation costs under State grant-in-aid programs. Although a number of States require localities to make relocation payments in connection with land takings under eminent domain statutes, it is significant that no State currently contributes toward these costs. Where a local project is conducted under a State grant-in-aid program, relocation costs are clearly a legitimate charge against the program. The Commission has therefore recommended that States share in local relocation costs under the normal aid distribution formula for each Stateaided program.

ADVISORY ASSISTANCE AND WELFARE PROGRAMS Effective relocation requires both direct assistance to those who are displaced and additional measures to assure an adequate supply of housing that displacees can afford. Advice and counselling alone are insufficient if the housing that is needed does not exist. Advisory assistance is nevertheless an important part of helping displacees cope with the burdens of relocation. Such assistance is particularly needed by the poor, minority groups, the elderly, and the small businessmen who are most disrupted by a forced move. Assistance may consist of information, advice, guidance, and other aids necessary to minimize the hardship of relocation. Cities with most success in relocating families and individuals have done intensive counselling just prior to displacement, using full-time professionally trained social workers (sometimes on loan from public welfare agencies); they have gathered and disseminated a wide range of suggestions about suitable housing; and they have made a preentry check of every dwelling selected by a displaced family to ascertain whether it was substandard or showed signs of becoming substandard. Followup, continuing some time after actual relocation, is necessary to assure that displacees have made a satisfactory adjustment in a standard dwelling or a new business.


# See Bernard J. Frieden, "Toward Equality of Urban Opportunity," Journal of the American Institute of Planner8, XXXI (November, 1965), pp. 320-330.

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