Federal Level Funding Sources

National Scenic Byways Grants

Federal Agency: Federal Highway Administration
Recipients: State Departments of Transportation

The National Scenic Byways Program provides technical and financial assistance to help preserve America’s scenic roads and promote tourism and economic development. FHWA administers the program and designates roads as National Scenic Byways and All-America Roads, the best of the National Scenic Byways.

National Scenic Byways may be recognized not only for their intrinsic natural, scenic, and recreational qualities, but also for their historic, cultural, and archeological resources. Grants are available to assist States in implementing projects on National Scenic Byways and developing State scenic byways programs. Projects that protect historic resources are eligible for grant funding.

 

National Heritage Areas Grants
Federal Agency: National Park Service
Recipients: Congressionally designated National Heritage Areas

Heritage area designation recognizes the distinct history and geography of a region and the desire of residents to collaborate in preserving their cultural and natural resources and capitalizing on them to promote economic development, particularly through heritage tourism.

Each heritage area has a local management entity which works regionally to promote and coordinate historic preservation, heritage tourism, economic development, recreation, and public education initiatives.

As directed by Congress, the National Park Service (NPS) provides technical assistance and matching grant funds for the development and implementation of a management plan for each designated area. Such grants are funded through the Heritage Partnership Program in the NPS National Recreation and Preservation account.

 

Community Development Block Grants—Entitlement Communities
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Local governments (over a certain population)

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds help communities carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services. Among the projects eligible for funding are: acquisition of real property; rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures; construction of public facilities and improvements; provision of assistance to businesses to carry out economic development; and job creation/retention activities.

 

Community Development Block Grants—Non-Entitlement Communities
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: States (with pass through to non-entitlement local communities)

CDBG funding for non-entitlement communities (those under a certain population threshold) is granted to the States to administer. Among the projects eligible for funding are: acquisition of property; construction or reconstruction of streets, water and sewer facilities, neighborhood centers, recreation facilities, and other public works; rehabilitation of public and private buildings; planning activities; assistance to nonprofit entities for community development activities; and assistance to private, for-profit entities to carry out economic development activities.

Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Local governments

Section 108, the loan guarantee provision of the CDBG program, allows communities to transform a small portion of their CDBG funds into federally guaranteed loans. This provides a source of financing for activities such as: property acquisition; rehabilitation of publicly owned property; housing rehabilitation; economic development activities; and acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or installation of public facilities.

 

Economic Development Initiative (EDI) Grants
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Local governments

Special purpose EDI grant funds are Congressionally earmarked for economic development projects chosen by Congress.

 

Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) Grants
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Local governments

BEDI grant funds can only be used in projects also assisted by the Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program. BEDI is designed to assist cities with the redevelopment of brownfields—abandoned, idled or under-used property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by contamination.

 

Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants
Federal Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Recipients: States; local governments; Indian tribes

To assist in the redevelopment of brownfields—abandoned, idled or under-used property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by contamination—the Environmental Protection Agency can provide grants to assist in the assessment and clean-up of such sites, including capitalizing of revolving loan funds for clean-up. Historic industrial sites may be brownfields.

 

*Pending Funding:

Community Renewal Initiative for Renewal Communities, Urban Empowerment Zones, and Enterprise Communities (RC/EZ/EC) Initiative
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Designated communities

Through grants and tax incentives, this program provides financial assistance to distressed communities to open new businesses, rehabilitate and build housing, and undertake other economic revitalization projects.

 

Public Works and Economic Development Initiative
Federal Agency: Economic Development Administration
Recipients: States; local governments; Indian tribes; institutions of higher learning

Grants from this program help communities to revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure to attract new industry, encourage business expansion, diversify local economies, and support the generation or retention of jobs and investments. Rehabilitation of historic buildings is an eligible activity.

 

Economic Adjustment Program
Federal Agency: Economic Development Administration
Recipients: States; local governments; Indian tribes; institutions of higher learning; nonprofit organizations

Under this program, grants support communities that have experienced or are under threat of serious damage to their economic base. Implementation Grants can be used to rehabilitate buildings as part of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

 

Specified Groups

Indian Community Development Block Grants
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Indian tribes

Funds may be used to improve the housing stock, provide community facilities, improve infrastructure, and expand job opportunities by supporting economic development.

 

Youthbuild Grants

Federal Agency: See website for more information

Recipients: Public or private nonprofit agencies; public housing authorities; State and local governments

Youthbuild assists high-risk youth in learning housing construction job skills and completing their high school education. Program participants enhance their skills as they construct and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for low- and moderate-income persons.  Grants are available in many states, and each program assesses property differently. A list of Minnesota’s Youthbuild branches can be found on their website.

 

Hispanic-Serving Institutions Assisting Communities Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Nonprofit Hispanic institutions of higher education

This program funds Hispanic institutions of higher education. Grants assist them in expanding their role and effectiveness in addressing community development needs in individual communities. Funded projects can involve housing and economic development as well as neighborhood revitalization.

 

Commercial Resources

Small Business Programs
Federal Agency: Small Business Administration
Recipients: Small businesses

U.S. Small Business Administration loans can be used for modernizing, renovating, or converting existing small business facilities.

 

Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program
Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service
Recipients: Indian tribes; local governments; businesses; nonprofit organizations; individuals

These guaranteed loans may be used for a variety of capital costs, including purchasing, modernizing, and developing facilities.

Rural Resources

Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
Federal Agency: Natural Resources Conservation Service
Recipients: State, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations that have existing farmland protection programs

Through the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, the Federal Government assists States, tribes, local governments, and non-governmental organizations in purchasing conservation easements on farm and ranch land to limit its conversion to non-agricultural use.

The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act extended the program to include farms or ranches containing historical and archeological resources.  The presence of historic properties on agricultural lands, and a plan to protect those resources, offers another alternative for using the program. The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program will pay up to 50 percent of the cost of purchasing a conservation easement or other interest in the land.

 

American Battlefield Protection Program Partnership Grants
Federal Agency: National Park Service
Recipients: Federal, tribal, state, and local governments; private-sector organizations

The American Battlefield Protection Program funds grants to assist in planning for, studying, and interpreting historic battlefields. Most recipients in this program contribute matching funds or in-kind services.

 

National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Grants
Federal Agency: Federal Highway Administration
Recipients: State Departments of Transportation

As part of the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program, the Federal Highway Administration undertakes research and disseminates information on the history and preservation needs of historic covered bridges. The program also includes a grant component, whereby States can apply for grants to preserve and rehabilitate these historic properties.

Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) Grants
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Local rural non-profits; community development corporations; State housing finance agencies; State community and/or economic development agencies; and Indian tribes.

RHED grants support innovative housing and economic development activities in rural areas. Among the activities eligible for funding are: preparation of plans and architectural drawings; acquisition of land and buildings; provision of infrastructure; purchase of materials; construction; application of innovative construction methods; provision of financial assistance to homeowners, businesses, and developers; and the establishment of revolving loan funds.

 

Farm Ownership Loans
Federal Agency: Farm Service Agency
Recipients: Farmers

Direct Farm Ownership Loans aid farmers in purchasing, repairing, or constructing buildings and other fixtures. These loans can also be used to purchase farmland, and promote soil and water conservation.

 

Community Facilities Loans and Grants
Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service
Recipients: Local governments; Indian tribes; nonprofit organizations

These grant and loan funds may be used to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas, including improvement and enlargement of existing facilities for health care, public safety, and community and public services.

 

Intermediary Relending Program
Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service
Recipients: Private non-profit corporations; public agencies; Indian tribes; cooperatives

Under this program, loans are made to intermediaries, which, in turn, re-lend the funds to private or public organizations or individuals. Projects receiving funds must involve community development or business development in rural areas.

 

Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants
Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service
Recipients: Electric and telephone utilities financed by the Rural Utilities Service

Under this program, loans and grants are made to electric and telephone utilities, which, in turn, re-lend the funds to private or public organizations. Funds can be used for economic development projects in rural communities, including purchase of buildings and development of community infrastructure and facilities.

 

Housing Resources

HOME Investment Partnerships Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: States; territories; local governments

The HOME Program provides grants to fund a wide range of activities aimed at expanding the supply of affordable housing for low and very low-income families. Rehabilitation of affordable housing and site acquisition and improvements are eligible activities.

 

Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Programs
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: States; local governments; Indian tribes

These grants are targeted at addressing lead-based paint hazards in privately owned, low-income, owner-occupied, and rental housing.

Weatherization Assistance Program
Federal Agency: Department of Energy
Recipients: States

Formula grants from this program help low-income families reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.

 

HOPE VI—Demolition and Revitalization of Severely Distressed Public Housing
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Public Housing Agencies

Grants from this program support revitalization of severely distressed public housing (including historic public housing).

 

Public Housing Capital Fund Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Public Housing Agencies

Grants from this program can be used to rehabilitate public housing (including historic public housing) and address deferred maintenance needs.

 

Mortgage Insurance for Rehabilitation Projects
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Individuals and developers, as appropriate

The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers mortgage insurance not only for the purchase of homes, but also for their rehabilitation.  Mortgage insurance programs for rehabilitation loans include:

 

Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants

Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service
Recipients: Farmers, State, Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations

These loans and grants may be used repair, improve, buy, or build housing for farm laborers.

 

Rural Housing Direct Loans and Guaranteed Loans (Section 502 Loans)
Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service
Recipients: Low- and very low-income individuals

Section 502 loans are primarily used to help low-income individuals purchase homes in rural areas, but funds also can be used to repair, renovate, build, or relocate homes.

 

Rural Rental Housing Loans
Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service
Recipients: Individuals; trusts, associations, partnerships, and limited partnerships; State or local public agencies; consumer cooperatives; and profit or nonprofit corporations.

Loans may be used to substantially rehabilitate rental or cooperative housing for low income rural residents.

 

Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Grants and Loans (Section 504 Grants and Loans)
Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service
Recipients: Very low-income homeowners over 62 years of age

These loans and grants assist very low-income, rural homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their dwellings or to remove health and safety hazards.

Rural Housing Preservation Grants
Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service
Recipients: State agencies; units of local government; Indian tribes; and nonprofit organizations

The objective of the program is to repair or rehabilitate individual housing, rental properties, or co-ops owned and/or occupied by very low- and low-income rural persons.

 

Emergency Shelter Grants Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: States; territories; local governments

This program awards grants for the conversion, major rehabilitation, or renovation of buildings for use as homeless shelters.

 

Supportive Housing Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: States; local governments; private nonprofit organizations; public nonprofit community mental health associations

Grant funds can be used for acquisition and rehabilitation of structures for use as supportive housing to assist homeless persons in the transition from homelessness.

 

Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Public housing agencies; private nonprofit organizations

This program provides rental assistance for homeless persons in connection with the moderate rehabilitation of SRO dwellings. Owners are compensated for the cost of some of the rehabilitation (as well as the other costs of owning and maintaining the property) through the rental assistance payments.

 

Indian Housing Block Grants
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Indian tribes

Eligible affordable housing activities must develop or support rental or ownership housing or provide housing services to benefit low-income Indian families on Indian reservations and other Indian areas. Rehabilitation is eligible for funding.

 

Federal Guarantees for Financing for Tribal Housing Activities
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Indian tribes

Loan guarantees under this program are available for rehabilitation of affordable housing.

Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program (Section 184)
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Native Americans

Loan guarantees under this program are available for rehabilitation of single-family housing.

Native American Veterans Direct Home Loans
Federal Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Recipients: Native American military veterans and members of the Selected Reserve

These loans assist Native American veterans in improving, purchasing, or constructing a home on Native American trust land.

 

Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Private, nonprofit organizations

The Section 202 program provides capital advances to finance the construction, rehabilitation or acquisition of structures to serve as supportive housing for very low-income elderly persons and provides rent subsidies for the projects to help make them affordable.

 

Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: Nonprofit organizations

This program provides capital advances to finance the construction, rehabilitation or acquisition of structures to serve as supportive housing for very low-income persons with disabilities and provides rent subsidies for the projects to help make them affordable.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program
Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
Recipients: States; local governments

This program provides housing assistance and related supportive services for low-income persons with HIV/ AIDS and their families. Eligible activities include the acquisition and rehabilitation of community residences and Single room occupancy units.

 

VA Guaranteed Home Loans
Federal Agency:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Recipients: Military veterans, active duty military personnel, members of the Selected Reserve, and some surviving spouses

Home loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs can be used not only to purchase or construct a home, but also for repairs, alterations, or improvements.

 

Transportation Improvements Funding

Transportation Enhancements Funding
Federal Agency: Federal Highway Administration
Recipients: State Transportation Departments

Ten percent of Federal Surface Transportation Program funds are set aside to fund transportation enhancement projects in 12 categories. This has opened up a huge new source of funding for preservation, since these categories include purchase of easements on historic properties, rehabilitation of historic buildings, landscaping in historic areas, archeological planning and research, and scenic or historic highway programs. Projects must relate to surface transportation.

Transportation enhancements funding is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Within the basic framework of the program, each State decides how it will (or will not) use that funding, and States do not have to spend the transportation enhancement dollars available to them.

 

Major Capital Investment Grants
Federal Agency: Federal Transit Administration
Recipients: States; municipalities other political subdivisions of States; public agencies and instrumentalities of one or more States; certain public corporations, boards, and commissions established under State law

Formula and project grants can assist in financing the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, and improvement of historic mass public transportation facilities.

 

Urbanized Area Formula Grants
Federal Agency: Federal Transit Administration
Recipients: Urbanized areas with populations of at least 50,000 (States or designated public bodies receive the funds)

These grants can assist in financing the improvement, maintenance, acquisition, construction, and leasing of historic mass public transportation facilities. One percent of the funds in each urbanized area with a population of 200,000 and over must be made available only for transit enhancements.

Other than Urbanized Areas Formula Grants
Federal Agency: Federal Transit Administration
Recipients: State and local governments; non-profit organizations; Indian tribes; public transit operators (population of area served must be under 50,000)

These grants can assist in financing the improvement, maintenance, acquisition, construction, and leasing of historic mass public transportation facilities in rural and small urban areas.

 

Tax Incentives

Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit–20%
Federal Agency: National Park Service, administered by the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

Recipients: Owners of commercial, industrial, agricultural, or rental residential properties

The Federal Government offers a variety of tax credits that assist preservation projects, notably a credit that is available only for rehabilitation of income-producing historic properties.  Under this historic preservation tax credit, property owners who rehabilitate historic buildings for commercial, industrial, agricultural, or rental residential purposes can receive a tax credit equal to 20 percent of the rehabilitation costs. The National Park Service must certify that the rehabilitation work meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Other Federal tax credits can also be used in preservation projects and can be combined with the historic preservation tax credit.

Contact: Linda Pate, Preservation Specialist, Minnesota SHPO, linda.pate@mnhs.org

 

Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit for Non-Historic Commercial Buildings Built before 1936–10%

Federal Agency: Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service offers up to a 10 percent tax credit for rehabilitation on commercial buildings not listed on the National Register and built before 1936.

 

Federal New Markets Tax Credit

Federal Agency: U.S. Department of the Treasury

Recipients: Community Development Entities (CDE) that pass through to developers

This credit is targeted at drawing investment to businesses and commercial projects in distressed urban, rural, and suburban communities.  Taxpayers can receive a credit against Federal income taxes by making qualified equity investments in designated Community Development Entities (CDEs).  All qualified investment is used by the CDE to invest in low-income communities.  New Markets Tax Credits are allocated to a CDE, which then acts as a pass through for funds.

 

Tax Deductions for Preservation Easements
Federal Agency: Internal Revenue Service

Recipients: Property owners

Donation of a historic preservation easement on National Register of Historic Places listed property generally qualifies as a charitable contribution for Federal tax purposes, and thus would result in income tax deductions. This provision of Federal tax law thus provides a cash incentive to owners of historic properties to protect them through donations of easements. The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization, is a preservation easement holding entity.

Contact: Erin Hanafin Berg,, Field Representative Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, (651) 293-9047 x4, ehberg@mnpreservation.org


Disabled Access Tax Credit

Federal Agency: Internal Revenue Service

Recipients: Small businesses

 

The Internal Revenue Service offers tax credit up to 50 percent on expenses incurred by providing access to persons with disabilities.

National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation, Technology, and Training Grants

The National Center for Preservation, Technology, and Training (NCPTT), a National Park Service organization, offers competitive matching grants for preservation research, information management, and training projects.

Save America’s Treasures Grants

The Save America’s Treasures provides grants for the preservation of historic properties and cultural artifacts. Historic properties receiving funds must be nationally significant and be threatened, endangered, or otherwise demonstrate an urgent preservation need. These grants require a dollar-for-dollar non-federal match.

 

Nonprofit Funding Sources

National Trust for Historic Preservation Grant Funds

The National Trust Preservation Funds provide two types of assistance to nonprofit organizations and public agencies: 1) matching grants from $500 to $5,000 for preservation planning and educational efforts, and 2) intervention funds for preservation emergencies. Matching grant funds may be used to obtain professional expertise in areas such as architecture, archeology, engineering, preservation planning, land-use planning, fund raising, organizational development and law as well as to provide preservation education activities to educate the public.

The Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation provides nonprofit organizations and public agencies grants for projects that contribute to the preservation or the recapture of an authentic sense of place.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors provides nonprofit organizations and public agencies grants to assist in the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of historic interiors.

The Peter H. Brink Leadership Fund helps build the capacity of existing preservation organizations and encourage collaboration among these organizations. Funds are available to develop peer-to-peer and direct organizational development and learning opportunities. 

The Hart Family Fund for Small Towns provides grants for communities with a population under 5,000.

National Trust Loan Funds

The National Trust Loan Funds (NTLF) consists of two preservation revolving funds: the Inner-City Ventures Fund (ICVF) and the National Preservation Loan Fund (NPLF). The ICVF provides financial assistance to organizations that serve low and moderate income households or provide economic benefit in low and moderate income communities. The NPLF provides funding for a variety of preservation projects, such as establishing or expanding local and statewide preservation revolving funds, acquiring or rehabilitating historic buildings, sites, structures and districts, and preserving National Historic Landmarks.

National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC)

The National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC), the National Trust’s for-profit subsidiary, offers several vehicles for historic real estate equity investment:

 

National Trust Main Street Center / Minnesota Main Street Program

The National Trust Main Street Center is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Center advocates a comprehensive approach that rural and urban communities alike can use to revitalize their traditional commercial areas through historic preservation and grassroots-based economic development.  It has created a network of statewide, citywide, and countywide Main Street programs totaling more than 1,200 active Main Street programs nationally.

The Main Street Center offers comprehensive range of consulting and training services to traditional downtowns and neighborhood business districts in cities, small towns, high-growth communities, and inner-ring suburbs.

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM), through its Minnesota Main Street Program, is the statewide coordinating program for the National Main Street Program.  For further information on Minnesota Main Street programs, contact PAM.

Contact: Emily Northey, Minnesota Main Street Program Coordinator, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, (651) 293-9047 x3, enorthey@mnpreservation.org