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How to Apply for a Historic Preservation Fund Grant

How to Apply for a Historic Preservation Fund Grant

The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) is a federal program administered by the DHPA to assist important local preservation projects and help the State meet its goals for cultural resource management. The DHPA makes grant awards in three different project categories through a competitive annual grant round.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applications include registered not-for-profit organizations, county and municipal government agencies, and colleges and universities. Historic buildings or structures to be documented or rehabilitated with grant federal funds must already be listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the time of application.

Program Timeframe

  • August 1: Application Packets are posted on the DHPA's website.
  • Early October: The grant application deadline is normally the first Friday in October.
  • Late January: Projects selected for funding are tentatively notified of funding status.
  • June 1: Earliest project start date. Projects cannot begin until the DHPA has received confirmation of its award from the National Park Service and has provided official grant awards to recipients, which may be later than June 1.
  • June 30: Latest project end date. Projects must be completed by the end of June two years after the grant award (up to 24 months for completion).

Match Requirements and Ratios

All grant awards must be matched with funds from any non-federal source. The applicant must document that it has the required matching funds available within its own accounts at the time of application. The short program cycle does not allow time to fundraise the required match during the grant period.

  • 70/30 grant-to-match ratio is available only to colleges and universities for archaeological survey projects conducted in prioritized areas due to the DHPA's need for site location data.
  • 60/40 grant-to-match ratio is available only to communities that are federally designated as Certified Local Governments (CLGs) to conduct any type of project. Learn more about the CLG program.
  • 50/50 grant-to-match ratio is available to all other applicants, regardless of project category.

Release of Grant Funds

All grant funds are paid out on a reimbursement basis as work progresses, not as a lump sum at the beginning of the project. The grant recipient must pay project costs with its own funds, then seek periodic reimbursement by carefully documenting project expenses. Grant reimbursements are paid electronically about 30 days after submission and approval of appropriate documentation. The DHPA normally holds the final 15% of grant funds as a retention until the completed project is reviewed and approved.

Preparing an HPF Grant Application

Each project category has its own application packet, instructions, and forms. A complete grant application requires:

  • A clear and thorough project description;
  • Written responses to two sets of grant evaluation criteria;
  • A realistic and detailed project timetable;
  • A realistic and detailed project budget supported by written estimates from contractors;
  • Documentation of available matching funds; and
  • Additional items, such as support letters, resumes of project staff, maps, photographs, and plans.

Project Categories

Architectural and Historical projects include: National Register nominations for eligible historic districts; public education programs and materials about preservation, such as workshops, training events, publications, and brochures; feasibility studies or historic structure reports for National Register-listed properties; plans and specifications for the rehabilitation of National Register-listed properties; and historic context studies with National Register nominations for certain types of historic resources. Grant requests in this category can range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Archaeological projects include: survey, testing, and research focused on specific geographic areas or cultural groups; National Register nominations for individual or multiple archaeological sites; and public education programs and materials about archaeology. Grant requests in this category can range from $10,000 to $50,000.

Acquisition and Development projects include: preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and acquisition of National Register-listed properties. This category is often referred to as “bricks and mortar money,” and is used to help save buildings and structures that are threatened or endangered in some way. Properties that are not already listed in the National Register are not eligible for HPF grant assistance. Grant requests in this category can range from $10,000 to $75,000.

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