By: Elizabeth McTigue Wanga
During the planning stages of a project, owners should identify all sources of available funding. Grant funding is an excellent source for historic preservation projects. It’s important to engage these potential partners early to ensure that your project and organization meet the funding criteria and the grant deadlines. Each grant funds a certain aspect of the preservation project. Some programs fund soft costs, such as architect/engineering fees for study or design, while others fund construction costs only.
The majority of historic preservation grants are for non-profit organizations (religious organizations, schools, museums, etc.), municipal, state, federal and other government entities. For private owners, the grants and low interest loan programs are administered through local government or non-profits. Most grants require that a qualifying property be a locally designated landmark, or, listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. We have highlighted a few grants that have helped fund our clients’ past projects. Keep in mind however, that there are many available private grants, and that local organizations sometimes provide emergency repair funds and low-interest loans. Additionally, each state has several programs.
There are several programs administered by the state agencies in New York. The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation offers the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants, which are highly competitive and can match up to 50% of eligible project costs. The NYS Main Street Grant Program provides grant funds to non-profit organizations for the improvement of streetscapes and facade restoration. The program also provides technical resources and assistance. The New York State Council on the Arts provides funding for excellence in design and planning in public spaces.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission provides grants for facade restoration to nonprofits and income eligible homeowners of properties in New York City. These grants range from $5,000 to $50,000.
In the State of New Jersey, there is a new grant for 2016, The Corporate Business Tax (CBT) Historic Preservation Fund provides grants for historic preservation projects. The 1772 Foundation offers grants for exterior preservation projects. The Revolving Loan Fund provides low-interest, long-term financing for the preservation, improvement, restoration, rehabilitation, and acquisition of historic properties.
There are many private and non-profit grant resources for historic properties. We have listed only a few here. The New York Landmarks Conservancy in New York City provides several grant and loan programs. The Sacred Sites Program provides financial and technical assistance, along with funding for both professional services and construction costs, throughout New York State. Their other programs are local to NYC and consist of the City Ventures Fund, The Emergency Preservations Grants and EZ consulting Grants. The Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts provide support for cultural resource surveys, historic structure reports, and historic landscape reports. The National Trust for Historic Preservation administers a loan fund and grant programs.