Program Description

Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 79A, the Department of Housing and Community Development's (DHCD) Bureau of Relocation (BOR) is responsible for providing advice, assistance and approvals for and to public and private entities that cause residents and/or businesses to move as the result of a publicly-funded project for the purposes of rehabilitation, demolition or other improvements.  In general, the Bureau of Relocation acts as the central clearinghouse on local, state or federal projects that causes displacement.

Relocation Assistance - How it Works:

Any resident or business that has been displaced by a project using public funds may be eligible for relocation assistance.  Public, non-profit or private displacing entities are charged with providing relocation services to residential and/or business occupants who are displaced as the result of a project using local, state or federal funds.  Displacing agencies must have adequate in-house or contracted personnel to provide the necessary relocation assistance to displaced occupants.  The Bureau of Relocation is charged with administrative oversight of the implementation of the local relocation process.

The Bureau of Relocation is charged with:

  • Technical assistance to displaced residents and/or businesses, including explaining the availability of relocation services and payments under M.G.L. Chapter 79A and the Federal Uniform Relocation Act;
  • Designation of relocation personnel, referred to as Relocation Advisory Agency;
  • Approval of displacing agencies’ relocation plans and claim payments;
  • Compliance on all requisite services and claim payments to displaced residents and/or businesses; and
  • Dispute resolution, including administrative hearings under M.G.L. Chapter 30A to resolve disputes between displacing agencies and displaced occupants.

Some publicly-funded activities that result in displacement and relocation of residents and/or businesses include, but are not limited to:  private and public housing initiatives or rehabilitation; public facility construction and expansion; urban renewal; educational facilities construction and expansion; transportation improvements; public parks and open space initiatives; hazard mitigation projects; and environmental protection initiatives.

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 of Issues and Cases pdf format of indexissuescases.pdf

Additional Information

Federal Uniform Act Frequently Asked Questions

HUD Real Estate Acquisition and Relocation

MAP-21 Uniform Act Frequently Asked Questions

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

International Right-of-Way Association

American Society of Appraisers

For More Information

Please contact DHCD's Division of Community Services at 617-573-1408