The Relocation Assistance Law of 1967 (N.J.S.A. 52:31B-1 et seq.) and the Relocation Assistance Act / 1971 (N.J.S.A. 20:4-1 et seq.) were enacted by the New Jersey State Legislature to ensure the equitable treatment of individuals, families, businesses (including non-profit organizations), and farm operations displaced by government action. Under the rules for relocation assistance, “government action” is defined as programs of building, housing, or health code enforcement, voluntary programs of rehabilitation, or the acquisition of land for a public use. The amended Eviction Law (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.) also requires relocation assistance pursuant to its “g” provisions.

The Relocation Assistance Program works as a partnership between the municipality and the State. There are times when a municipality causes a tenant, resident, business owner, or farm operation to leave their dwelling or place of business. This can be because the dwelling is unsafe or because the municipality is undertaking a development or redevelopment project.

When a municipality decides that a tenant, resident, business owner, or farm operation must leave their dwelling or place of business, the municipality must send a plan, called a Workable Relocation Assistance Plan (WRAP), to the Department of Community Affairs for review. The WRAP must show that the municipality knows the number of people, businesses, or farm operations impacted by the relocation plan and then must demonstrate that there are enough comparable replacement housing units or business sites in the area for the people to find new homes, apartments, or business locations. Each municipality must designate the individual who will carry out the obligation established by law. Departmental approval of WRAPs is required before relocation activities may commence.

Once the WRAP has been approved, the municipality informs the tenants, residents, business owners, or farms that they are being moved; the municipality must also tell the tenants, residents, business owners, or farms that the municipality will help them find another place to live or conduct business and that they have the right to appeal the municipality's actions. If a municipality has a grant agreement with the State for the approved WRAP, the municipality applies to the State for reimbursement of a portion of the relocation costs unless the municipality has made prior arrangements with a developer to assume the costs. The State works with the municipality as a reimbursement program and does not become involved in the identification of replacement housing or business sites. The program is not set up to help individuals who decide that they would like to move.

If you require further information about the Relocation Assistance Program, contact the Division of Codes and Standards by telephone at (609) 984-7609, by facsimile at (609) 984-7717, or by mail at Relocation Assistance Program, Post Office Box 802, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.

Related Forms and Publications

Workable Relocation Assistance Plan (WRAP) Form & Instructions
Expedited Workable Relocation Assistance Plan
WRAP Checklist
Reimbursement Request Checklist