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Historic Renovation Grant Program

  • OCRA
  • Current: Historic Renovation Grant Program

Funding is now exhausted and we are no longer accpeting applications. The program is now suspended until more funding is allocated during the 2021 legislative session.

In 2018, Mark Banschbach was awarded a $100,000 grant to preserve the Speakman House (shown above). Located in Aurora, the Greek Revival residence has 17 rooms stretching across 7,000 square feet. In 1846, Stephen Speakman built the house on the banks of Laughery Creek, overlooking the Ohio River. The property is planned to be a social gathering place to host tours, special events and possibly a bed and breakfast. 

Purpose

To preserve and rehabilitate historic properties in order to further incentivize downtown economic development.  

Applicant Eligibility

Projects must meet certain minimum program requirements. Those requirements are as follows:

  • The lead applicant must be any individual, partnership, firm, association, joint venture, limited liability company, or corporation or non-profit corporation or non-profit organization if the historic property will be used by the nonprofit organization or nonprofit corporation for the organization's or corporation's purposes and functions. The lead applicant must be able to show title/ownership upon grant award and will certify this is available upon application. Properties owned by Local Units of Government are not eligible for this grant program.

  • The lead applicant must be able to show title/ownership upon grant award and will certify this is available upon application.

Project Eligibility and Ineligibility

The historic property must be:

  • Eligible preservation and rehabilitation activites: 
    • Are limited to the exterior. Please note: that while interior rehabilitation activities are not funded or reviewed as part of this program, any work done on the interior of the building, whether part of the scope of work for this project or not, can affect eligibility for listing in the State Register after project completion.
    • Include measures to sustain the form, integrity, and material of a building or structure. This includes the stabilization work and maintenance of historic building materials.
    • For example (this is not an all inclusive listing):

      • Windows, doors, and historic entryways;
      • Brick rehabilitation and tuckpointing,
      • Roof replacement and rehabilitation
      • Exterior foundation rehabilitation
      • Rehabilitation of exterior architectural characteristics

Ineligible activities include

  • Property acquisition;
  • Payment of taxes;
  • Enlarging or expanding existing structures;
  • Real estate fees;
  • Paving and landscaping costs;
  • Sales and marketing costs;
  • Any construction started or completed prior to grant award;
  • Interior renovations;
  • Equipment purchases;
  • Increase value with intent to sell.

Property Eligibility

The historic property must be:

  • Located in Indiana;
  • At least fifty (50) years old;
  • Listed or eligible for listing at the time of application in the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures (State Register); note that all properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places are also listed in the State Register.
  • Actively used in a trade or business;
  • Held for the production of income; 
  • Held for the rental or other use in the ordinary course of the person’s trade or business;
    OR
  • Owned and used by a nonprofit organization or nonprofit corporation for the organization's or corporation's purposes and functions.

Determination of Eligibility on National Register
If applicant is unsure if property is listed or eligible for listing in the State Register click here for instructions on how to find State Register listing status. If the property is not listed on the State Register, applicants will have to complete a Determination of Eligibility form and submit directly to DHPA. Please note that Determinations of Eligibility will only be issued for individual sites; there is no provision for determinations of eligibility for historic districts for the State Register. 

  • Determination of Eligibility on National Register (Form 56286)

Certificate of Approval
Indiana Code § 14-21-1-18(a) and (b) require that a certificate of approval be obtained before using state funds to alter, demolish, or remove an historic site or historic structure, if it is owned by the state or if it is listed in either the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures or the National Register of Historic Places.  The application must be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA).

  • Instructions for Application for Certificate of Approval​ (Form 52889)

For more information on how to obtain a Determination of Eligibility or a Certificate of Approval from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA), please contact DHPA directly at (317) 232-1646 or dhpa@dnr.in.gov

Funding Requirements and Distribution

  • Grant requests between $5,000 and $100,000 will be accepted on a rolling basis. All grant requests need to be rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount.
  • Eligible requests must be no more than 50% of eligible project costs.
  • Local match must be greater than or equal to 50% of total eligible project costs.
  • Local match must be provided by the applicant or a third party with documentation provided at time of application.
  • Ineligible expenses may be included in the project summary but will not count towards the eligible local match.

Please note: The grant award is considered taxable income in the year that it is used. Awardees should consult with their legal counsel or accountant for more information.

Program and Submission Guidelines

The goal of the program is to preserve and rehabilitate historic properties in order to further incentivize downtown economic development.  

Please see the HRGP Instructions document under Application & Resources for full details and application process. 

Threshold items (application is automatically ineligible without meeting these requirements):

  1. Match is 50% of total eligible project costs.
  2. Line Item Budget must be complete and all numbers consistent throughout application.
  3. Proof provided of available local match.
  4. Property is listed or eligible to be listed on National or State Register of Historic Places by the time of application.
  5. Only electronic July 2020 HRGP application forms will be accepted. Applications must be submitted as a single PDF document, with the exception of the Historic Renovation Grant Program Budget Table document, which can be submitted separately. Please submit application materials to jswihart@ocra.in.gov.

Application & Resources

*Please note: Only July 2020 application forms will be accepted. 
 

Forms found on the DNR website:

  • DHPA State Form 56286:  Determination for Eligibility on National Register of Historic Places and the Indiana Register of Historic Places and Structures
  • DHPA State Form 52889: Instructions for Application for Certificate of Approval   

Useful links:

If you have questions about this program or need other assistance, please contact your OCRA Community Liaison.


 

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