Relocation Laws and Information - Chapter 79A

The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC) Bureau of Relocation (Bureau) is responsible for administering the state’s Relocation Assistance regulations.

If a public agency, such as a city or a town, acquires your property or issues you a written order to vacate for a rehabilitation, demolition or other improvement project, you may be a displaced person as set out in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 79A.  If this happens and you have to move permanently, you may be eligible for relocation advisory services and certain relocation payments.

Table of Contents

Who We Serve

The Bureau of Relocation works with local governments and public agencies to ensure the effective relocation of businesses and people in specific circumstances.

The Bureau of Relocation works with public agencies and does not assist individuals to directly find new housing.

Individuals seeking housing assistance.

If you are an individual seeking housing assistance, learn about emergency and long-term housing help for MA residents, or email

Relocation Assistance - How it Works

A public agency subject to Chapter 79A must offer an eligible displaced person advisory services and provide the appropriate relocation assistance under the law. The public agency or their relocation agent will explain the conditions for eligibility, the types of available relocation assistance and payments, and how to obtain the relocation payments. 

If you are a homeowner occupant or tenant, you may be able to receive a payment for moving and related expenses and for replacement housing.  If you are a business, you may be able to receive a payment for moving personal property and for reestablishment expenses. 

Do not move before you learn what you must do to receive the relocation payments and other assistance you may be entitled to receive.

The Bureau of Relocation

  • Provides advice and assistance to displaced residents and/or businesses and to public agencies in implementing and interpreting the state relocation regulations;
  • Reviews requests by public agencies to qualify Relocation Advisory Agencies, also referred to as relocation agents or relocation personnel.  Agents may be in-house staff or they can be contracted personnel whose role is to provide relocation assistance.
  • Approves an agency’s relocation plan when an activity subject to Chapter 79A displaces the occupants of more than 5 dwelling units or business units;
  • Reviews relocation claim payments submitted by an agency which exceed $50,000;
  • Conducts administrative hearings under M.G.L. Chapter 30A after a request for further review when there is a dispute over the eligibility for a relocation payment or the amount of a payment.

Some publicly funded activities that may result in displacement and relocation of residents and businesses include, but are not limited to:  construction of state-aided public housing; public facility construction and expansion; urban renewal; educational facilities construction and expansion; transportation improvements; and public parks and open space improvements.

Projects undertaken in accordance with M.G.L. c. 121A may also be subject to state relocation regulations if they result in the displacement of persons or businesses.

Laws, Regulations, Guidelines


HUD Web-Based Training on the URA (free of charge)

  • Module 1: URA Overview
  • Module 2: Section 104(d) Overview
  • Module 3: URA Planning & Budgeting
  • Module 4: Real Property Acquisition
  • Module 5: Residential Relocation
  • Module 6: Nonresidential Relocation
  • Module 7: Temporary Relocation
  • Module 8: Administration & Oversight

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

IRWA Classes

Bureau of Relocation Decisions

Additional Information

Contact   for Relocation Laws and Information - Chapter 79A


Please listen for phone menu options for EOHLC divisions

Kevin Connor, press secretary


Main Office
100 Cambridge St, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02114

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