Relocation Assistance

Background

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 entity that undertakes a public project that may potentially displace a person from their home, farm or business must file a relocation plan with the Department of Administration, Division of Legal Services. The Division of Legal Services 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 Division of Legal Services can help governments and agencies develop prudent and equitable relocation plans, provide suitable relocation payments and services, and assist in resolving discrepancies through the appeal process.

Publications

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 versions are formatted for electronic reading:

The following versions are formatted for printing double-sided and folding into a brochure: 

Forms
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

Wis. Stat. s. 32.28-Costs

Pursuant to the Department's duty under Wis. Stat. s. 32.28(4)(b), the dollar figure reflected in Wis. Stat. s. 32.28(4)(a), effective January 1, 2018, is $2,757.

Contact Information

For more information, interested agencies and governments should call (608) 266-2887 or email tracym.smith@wisconsin.gov

Mailing Address

Attn: Relocation Assistance

DOA-Division of Legal Services

PO Box 7864

Madison, WI 53707-7864


Physical Address

Attn: Relocation Assistance

DOA-Division of Legal Services

101 E. Wilson Street, 10th Floor

Madison, WI 53703