HIP Tool: Displacement Resources

Displacement can refer to several different processes. First, residents may be displaced when a property is slated for redevelopment, conversion, or when the affordability restrictions on a subsidized unit/building expire. A second definition of displacement describes the impact of increasing housing prices in a neighborhood prompted by neighborhood reinvestment, major infrastructure investments, and processes of gentrification. In this scenario, displacement may occur through legal rent increases, illegal evictions, and foreclosure. State legislation (RCW 59.18.440) establishes standards for the former definition regarding the amount of financial support jurisdictions and property owners are required to provide to displaced residents. Resources to mitigate the latter definition of displacement include, but are not limited to: preservation of affordability, community land banking, community land trust, right of first refusal, relocation advisory services, reimbursement for moving expenses, and payments for the added cost of renting or purchasing comparable replacement housing.


Housing demolition, conversion of apartments to condominiums, market pressure, speculation, redevelopment of aging subsidized housing and closure of manufactured housing communities threaten to reduce the availability of affordable units and displace low-income residents. For displacement caused by housing demolition or conversion, many jurisdictions require a one-for-one replacement or a payment to the city’s affordable housing fund in lieu of replacement. However, the units are often available too late for displaced residents or built too far away. 
To cover the cost of moving and resettling because of displacement, federal, state and local funds are available to low-income residents, depending on the displacement circumstances. Federal relocation assistance is available only to residents displaced by federally funded projects. The state of Washington has adopted legislation authorizing local jurisdictions to require relocation payment to low-income tenants displaced by housing demolition, change of use, substantial rehabilitation, or removal of use restrictions from assisted housing (RCW 59.18.440).

Washington State also provides relocation assistance to low-income residents of manufactured housing communities when the property they reside on is sold for a new use.

Tool Profile

Focus Areas

  • Urban Centers
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Expensive Housing Markets
  • Innovative Single Family Techniques

Project Types

  • Single Family
  • Multifamily
  • Ownership
  • Rental

Affordability Level

  • Less than 80% AMI

Housing Goal

  • Affordability