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Home Return to Table of Contents: Sources of Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects Federal Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation ProjectsCommunity and Economic Development Programs
Federal Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation ProjectsCommunity and Economic Development Programs
Federal financial assistance programs that promote community and economic development are key sources of funding for historic preservation projects. These programs can assist in the rehabilitation of historic houses, historic commercial buildings, and infrastructure in historic neighborhoods. There are general programs, as well as those aimed at particular areas or populations, such as rural areas, the homeless, Indians, the elderly, etc. Several transportation funding programs are also available to assist in rehabilitation of historic mass transportation facilities.
Development Block GrantsEntitlement Communities
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.
CDBG funding for non-entitlement communities (those under a certain population threshold) is granted to the States to administer, except in the case of Hawaii, where HUD still administers the funding directly. 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.
A wide variety of community development activities are eligible for funding. Typically activities funded include: construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water systems, streets, and community centers; rehabilitation of houses and landmark structures; and the provision of public services.
Funds may be used to rehabilitate housing, provide community facilities, improve infrastructure, and expand job opportunities by supporting economic development.
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.
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 brownfieldsabandoned, idled or under-used property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by contamination. BEDI grants enhance the security or improve the viability of a project financed with Section 108 guaranteed loan authority.
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.
This program awards grants to historically black colleges and universities to address community development needs in their localities. Activities can include: purchasing property; rehabilitating homes and businesses; and special economic development activities.
This program provides grant funds to assist Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian institutions of higher education expand their role and effectiveness in addressing community development needs in their localities. Funded projects can involve housing and economic development as well as neighborhood revitalization.
This program provides grant funds to assist Hispanic institutions of higher education expand their role and effectiveness in addressing community development needs in their localities. Funded projects can involve housing and economic development as well as neighborhood revitalization.
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.
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.
These guaranteed loans can be used for renovation of business facilities.
These guaranteed loans can be used for modernizing, renovating, or converting existing small business facilities.
Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants
To assist in the redevelopment of brownfieldsabandoned, idled or under-used property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by contaminationthe 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.
Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program
Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) Grants
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.
With a Direct Farm Ownership Loan, farmers can purchase, repair, or construct buildings and other fixtures, purchase farmland, and promote soil and water conservation.
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.
Through grants and tax incentives, this program provides financial assistance to distressed rural communities to open new businesses, rehabilitate and build housing, and undertake other economic revitalization projects.
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.
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.
These grants can be used for infrastructure projects that enhance economic development opportunities and community revitalization in Appalachia. The Appalachian Regional Commission also supports projects that stimulate the rehabilitation or construction of housing for low- and moderate-income residents.
Updated December 21, 2015