Program Description

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 79A requires that assistance and benefits be provided to displaced residents and businesses as a result of a real estate acquisition by a public or private entity (collectively, Displacing Entities) using public funds in a project. This includes the taking of real property by eminent domain, negotiated sale, or for purposes of rehabilitation, demolition or other improvement.

The Bureau of Relocation (BOR) administers this law and ensures that Displacing Entities provide displaced persons all the requisite services and assistance, including but not limited to: 1. payment for actual moving expenses; 2. at least 120 days advance written notice to vacate; 3. assistance in finding a suitable and/or comparable replacement homes or business sites; and 4. an explanation of the Displacing Entity's grievance process.

Some of the types of projects that have recently triggered the requirements of MGL Chapter 79A are: construction and expansion of courts, schools, libraries, public parking facilities, public facilities (e.g. skating rinks, convention center), fire and police stations; transportation and mass transit improvements; public parks and open space initiatives; hazard mitigation projects; watershed/environmental protection initiatives; expansion of higher educational facilities; housing initiatives; and implementation of Urban Renewal plans.

Laws, Regulations, Guidelines

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 79A

760 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 27.00

FHWA - Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act


Web-Based Training on the Federal Uniform Act (free of charge)

IRWA Classes

Bureau of Relocation Decisions

Index pdf format of index-bureauofrelocatindecisions.pdf

Additional Information

Federal Uniform Act Frequently Asked Questions

Relocation Advisory Agency Checklist doc format of relocationadvisory.doc

Relocation Plan Approval Checklist doc format of relocationplanapproval.doc

Temporary Relocation Plan Approval Checklist doc format of temporaryrelocation.doc

MAP-21 Uniform Act Frequently Asked Questions

Related Links

FHWA - URA and RPAA Jan 2005 Final Rule Side-by-Side Comparisons

HUD Real Estate Acquisition and Relocation

International Right-of-Way Association

American Society of Appraisers


For additional information, please call the Division of Community Services at 617-573-1408