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Home arrow Return to Table of Contents: Sources of Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects arrow Federal Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects—Community and Economic Development Programs
Federal Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects—Community 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.

  • General:
          -General
          -Rural
  • Housing
  • Transportation Improvements


    General

    Community Development Block Grants—Entitlement Communities
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: Local governments (over a certain population)
    www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/entitlement/index.cfm

    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)
    www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/stateadmin/index.cfm
    www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/smallcities/index.cfm

    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.


    Community Development Block Grants—Insular Areas
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: American Samoa; Guam; Northern Mariana Islands; and the Virgin Islands.
    www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/insular/index.cfm

    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.


    Indian Community Development Block Grants
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: Indian tribes
    www.hud.gov/offices/pih/ih/grants/icdbg.cfm

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


    Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: Local governments
    www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/108/index.cfm

    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.


    Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) Grants
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: Local governments
    www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/economicdevelopment/programs/bedi/index.cfm

    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. BEDI grants enhance the security or improve the viability of a project financed with Section 108 guaranteed loan authority.


    Community Renewal Initiative for Renewal Communities and Urban Empowerment Zones (RC/EZ) Initiative
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: Designated communities
    www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/economicdevelopment/programs/rc/index.cfm

    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.


    Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: Historically black colleges and universities
    www.hud.gov/progdesc/hbcu.cfm

    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.


    Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Institutions Assisting Communities Program
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: Nonprofit Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian institutions of higher education
    http://www.oup.org/programs/aboutANNHIAC.asp

    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.


    Hispanic-Serving Institutions Assisting Communities Program
    Federal Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Recipients: Nonprofit Hispanic institutions of higher education
    www.oup.org/programs/aboutHSIAC.asp

    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.


    Public Works and Economic Development Initiative
    Federal Agency: Economic Development Administration
    Recipients: States; local governments; Indian tribes; institutions of higher learning
    www.eda.gov/AboutEDA/Programs.xml

    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 Assistance Program
    Federal Agency: Economic Development Administration
    Recipients: States; local governments; Indian tribes; institutions of higher learning; nonprofit organizations
    www.eda.gov/AboutEDA/Programs.xml

    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.


    Small Business Guaranteed Loans (Section 7(a) Loans)
    Federal Agency: Small Business Administration
    Recipients: Small businesses
    https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants

    These guaranteed loans can be used for renovation of business facilities.


    Certified Development Company Guaranteed Loan Program (Section 504 Loans)
    Federal Agency: Small Business Administration
    Recipients: Small businesses
    https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants

    These guaranteed loans can be used for modernizing, renovating, or converting existing small business facilities.

    Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants
    Federal Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
    Recipients: States; local governments; Indian tribes
    www.epa.gov/brownfields/

    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.


    General: Rural

    Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program
    Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service
    Recipients: Indian tribes; local governments; businesses; nonprofit organizations; individuals
    www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/b&i_gar.htm

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

    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.
    www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/economicdevelopment/programs/rhed/index.cfm

    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
    www.fsa.usda.gov/dafl/directloans.htm#a

    With a Direct Farm Ownership Loan, farmers can purchase, repair, or construct buildings and other fixtures, 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
    www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/cf/cp.htm

    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.


    Rural Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC) Initiative
    Federal Agency: Department of Agriculture
    Recipients: Designated communities
    www.ezec.gov/

    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.


    Intermediary Relending Program
    Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service
    Recipients: Private non-profit corporations; public agencies; Indian tribes; cooperatives
    www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/irp.htm

    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
    www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/redlg.htm

    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.


    Appalachian Regional Commission Program Grants
    Federal Agency: Appalachian Regional Commission
    Recipients: Appalachian States; local governments; nonprofit organizations
    www.arc.gov/index.do?nodeId=101

    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

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