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Historic Renovation Grant Program

  • OCRA
  • Current: Historic Renovation Grant Program

As of December 12, 2018, the HRGP funds have been obligated for the fiscal year. We are suspending HRGP application acceptance at this time.  Please check back in late spring 2019 to see if OCRA received new funding for this program.


To preserve and rehabilitate historic properties in order to further incentivize downtown economic development. As of December 1, 2017 funding is available until all funds are awarded.  Applications can be submitted at any time.









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. 

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. A Non-profit facilitating affordable housing organizations are also eligible as lead applicants.

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

Property Eligibility  

The historic property must be:

  • Located in Indiana
  • At least fifty (50) years old; AND
  • 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.

If applicant is unsure if property is listed or eligible for listing in the State Register or click here for instructions on how to find State Register listing status and information. If applicable, or how to obtain a Determination of Eligibility from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (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.

Any questions related to the forms above should be directed to (317) 232-1646 or dhpa@dnr.in.gov

The historic property must be:

  • 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


Project Eligibility and Ineligibility

  • Eligible preservation and rehabilitation activities:

    • 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

Funding and Distribution

  • Grant requests between $10,000 and $100,000 will be accepted. All Grant requests need to be rounded to the nearest dollar amount.
  • Eligible requests must be no more than 35% of eligible project costs
  • Local match must be greater than or equal to 65% 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

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

 Applications must include:

  • One hard copy with ink signatures
  • One digital copy via thumb drive or disc
  • Applications must be submitted in the office or by mail to:
    Office of Community and Rural Affairs
    One North Capitol, Suite 600
    Indianapolis, IN 46204

Scoring Criteria (300 points)

Rubric Favorable Points

  • Project oversight or involvement from an individual or organization with experience understanding and implementing Secretary of Interior (SOI) standards. (Scope of Work). (50 points)

  • Part of Prior Planning-Project includes prior planning and has been identified as part of the community’s long term goals.  Should include documentation from adopted plan or meeting minutes. (50 points)

  • Public benefit of the property – important symbol or landmark of community. (50 points)

  • Reasonable Budget-Budget includes proper estimates from organization or company that breaks out the type of materials and scope of work.  Costs are within reason and feasible. (50 points)

  • Reasonable Timeline-Timeline is a part of the scope or provided by organization or company that will complete work and is reasonable and feasible and remains within the given timeline. (50 points)

  • Priority of Funding (income-producing) (25 points)

  • Building is currently income producing

  1. Building is vacant with firm plan for future use with confirmed tenants after rehab work is completed

  2. Building is vacant with plan for future use but no confirmed tenants after rehab work is completed

    • Priority of Funding (National / State Register Listing) (25 points)

      1. Listed on the National Register as an individual property

      2. Listed on the National Register as a contributing structure as part of a Historic District

      3. Listed on the State Register as an individual property

      4. Listed on the State Register as a contributing structure as part of a Historic District

      5. Eligible to be listed (per DHPA)

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

    1. Applicant must send in 1 hard copy and one digital copy to OCRA.

    2. Match is 65% of total eligible project costs.

    3. Line Item Budget must be complete and all numbers consistent throughout application.

    4. Proof provided of available local match.

    5. Property is listed or eligible to be listed on National or State Register of Historic Places by the time of application.


Direct Deposit Authorization Form

IRS W9 Form

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


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