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Relocation Assistance


When an agency undertakes a public improvement project, it may be necessary to acquire private property for the greater public good. The Federal and State Constitutions grant this condemnation power and the Wisconsin legislature delegates this authority to numerous agencies including (generally) departments, municipalities, boards, commissions, public officers, and business entities. The legislature has also specified many purposes for which this power can be used including highway construction or improvement, reservoirs, dams, public utility sites, waste treatment facilities, city redevelopment, and energy lines. If a public project displaces you, the displacing agency must provide certain benefits and services to ensure minimum loss and inconvenience.  NOTE: Aliens not lawfully present in the U.S. are NOT eligible for relocation assistance.

Relocation Plan

Any agency that undertakes a public project that may potentially displace a person from their home, farm or business must file a relocation plan with the Wisconsin Relocation Office. The State Relocation Specialist must approve the plan prior to the initiation of negotiations for property acquisition. The plan aims to:

  • Ensure that persons are not required to vacate dwellings without reasonable opportunity to find replacement dwellings;
  • Help displaced owners and tenants find suitable replacement dwellings, farms or business locations;
  • Inform displaced persons on available state, federal, and local assistance programs, and;
  • Determine costs of relocation payments and services.

The Relocation Specialist can help governments and agencies develop prudent and equitable relocation plans, provide suitable relocation payments and services, and assist in the resolving discrepancies.

The Relocation Specialist is also available to answer questions and provide informational materials on relocation and eminent domain laws.


The Wisconsin Relocation Law requires that anyone undertaking a public project must provide the following documents, as applicable, to potentially displaced persons (ideally at first contact, but definitely prior to the initiation of negotiations).


The following forms might be useful for agencies undertaking a public project that will potentially displace a person from their home, farm or business.

Links to Relevant Rules 

Contact Information 

For more information, interested agencies and governments should call (608) 266-7531, or email

Mailing Address
Attn: Relocation Assistance
DOA - Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources
PO Box 7970
Madison, WI 53707-7970

Physical Address
Attn: Relocation Assistance
DOA - Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources
101 E. Wilson Street, Floor 6
Madison, WI 53703