- What is the statutory authority for the grants program?
- How is the program funded?
- Does a building have to be “historic” to be eligible to apply for our grant program?
- Can I get a grant to rehabilitate my home or business?
- How do I obtain a Historic Preservation grant application?
- When are applications due?
- What are the match requirements for the grant program?
- Are match requirements ever reduced or waived?
- How are applications evaluated?
- What criteria are used in the review process?
- Is it necessary to attend the public application review meeting?
- How are funds allocated for Historic Preservation Grants?
- Is grant funding guaranteed if my application is recommended by the Secretary of State?
- What is the duration of the grant period?
- Do I have to submit updates on my project to BHP?
- May I hire consultants, contractors, and/or vendors to do the required grant work for my project?
Q: What is the statutory authority for the grants program?
A: The Historic Preservation Grants Program is administered in accordance with Section 267.0617, Florida Statutes and Chapter 1A-39, Florida Administrative Code.
Q: How is the program funded?
A: The amount of funding to be awarded is determined by the Florida Legislature during the legislative session for the fiscal year for which grant funding is requested. The Legislature’s budget must be signed into law by the Governor. Funds formally appropriated officially become available on July 1. An apportionment of the Historic Preservation Fund, a federal grant administered by the National Park Service, is also available to Certified Local Governments (CLG). (See FAQs for CLGs)
Q: Does a building have to be “historic” to be eligible to apply for our grant program?
A: In Florida, to be eligible for rehabilitation or restoration grant assistance, a building must be at least 50 years of age or of architectural significance. Buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or that have been designated as National Historic Landmarks would be considered highly competitive.
Any historic preservation work to be conducted for historic properties using Historic Preservation grant funds (both state and federal) must be completed in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation. Please see these standards and additional information at nps.gov/history/hps/tps/tax/rhb/.
Q: Can I get a grant to rehabilitate my home or business?
A: BHP grant funds are not available for properties owned by private individuals or for-profit corporations. Grant funding is available only for non-profit organizations, state agencies (including universities), local governments, and units of local governments. Projects funded by this grant program must serve the public interest, and grant funded rehabilitated buildings must be accessible to the public.
If you are seeking funding assistance for your privately owned historic home, you may be eligible for tax reductions, low-interest loans, or grants available from the federal government, your city or county government, or private advocacy organizations such as the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.
Q: How do I obtain a Historic Preservation grant application?
A: The Historic Preservation Grants Program utilizes an online grant application system. Grant applications are posted at apply.flheritage.com during announced grant solicitation periods. Applications from previous solicitation periods are available (for information only) at this site as well. Hard copy applications are available upon request. Click here to access a sample Special Category Grant application or click here to access a sample Small Matching Grant application.
Q: When are applications due?
A: Applications are due the last day of the announced solicitation period. Small Matching grants are typically solicited in April through May of each year. Special Category grants are generally solicited in the October through December of each year. Check the main Grants page for current deadlines.
Q: What are the match requirements for the grant program?
A: Small Matching Grants require a 100% match of the requested grant funds and Special Category Grants require a match of $50,000 or 50% of the requested grant funds, whichever is the higher amount. Please see Question #13 for exceptions to these match requirements.
Q: Are match requirements ever reduced or waived?
A: Yes. Projects located in REDI (Rural Economic Development Initiative) designated communities and counties are eligible for waiver or reduction of matching requirements.
For Small Matching Grant Applications, match for project applications located in REDI communities and counties are waived in full (0% match). For Special Category Grant Applications, match for proposed projects located in REDI communities and counties is reduced to 10% of the requested grant award.
The REDI Program is administered by the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED). Please contact that office for the most up-to-date information on the REDI designation.
Special Statewide Projects solicited by the Division of Historical Resources and Main Street grants do not require a match.
Q: How are applications evaluated?
A: Step 1: BHP staff review the application for Completeness and Eligibility. This includes making sure the application has been submitted by the deadline and that all attachments, required photographs and signatures are present, and that there is complete contact information.
Step 2: BHP staff review the application for Sufficiency. This includes a detailed examination of the project description, the major elements and entities, the budget, the match confirmation, letters of support, previous grant experience and overall administrative capability. From this evaluation, staff will make recommendations to the reviewing body at the public meeting.
Step 3: The Grant Application Review Panel, for Small Matching grants, or the Florida Historical Commission (FHC), for Special Category grants, reviews and ranks applications at a public meeting. After the public discussion of each project, each member ranks each project numerically (with 1 being the highest rank) within each category. The average score of all the rankings determines the final ranking for each project.
Q: What criteria are used in the review process?
A: Applications are evaluated according to their conformance with both the program's Application Evaluation Criteria and the Statewide Preservation Priorities for your project category. These criteria are listed with each solicitation for applications.
Q: Is it necessary to attend the public application review meeting?
A: It is recommended, but not required. Call-in telephone participation is available and is highly recommended if the applicant cannot attend in person. Applicants are given instructions for telephone participation in advance of the review meetings. Formal presentations are not allowed at public meetings, but applicants should be prepared to answer questions from the reviewers.
Q: How are funds allocated for Historic Preservation Grants?
A: After eligible grant applications are ranked by the review panels (or by the Florida Historical Commission for Special Category grants), the recommended list is submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. The amount of funding to be awarded for historic preservation grants is determined by the Florida Legislature during the regular legislative session (following application submission) and is based on the Legislative Budget Request submitted to the Legislature by the Secretary of State. The approved budget is signed into law by the Governor, and the grant funds appropriated by the Legislature are then awarded according to the order of the project rankings until all funds are allocated. If awarded a grant, applicants are typically notified by the Secretary of State in June. Although grant funds become available on July 1, funds will not be distributed until specific benchmarks in the Grant Award Agreement (GAA) are met. The agreements are sent to grantees on or before July 1.
Q: Is grant funding guaranteed if my application is recommended by the Secretary of State?
A: No. Funding of individual awards is based on the rankings of the grant review panel or Florida Historical Commission and the amount of funding appropriated by the Legislature as signed into law by the Governor. Grants will be funded according to the order of the ranking list until all funding has been allocated.
Q: Do I have to submit updates on my project to BHP?
A: All grantees are required to submit periodic reports called Progress & Expenditure Reports. These reports track your project's status and the amounts of grant and/or match funds expended. Full back-up documentation must accompany these reports.
Q: May I hire consultants, contractors, and/or vendors to do the required grant work for my project?
A: The need to hire professional assistance should be reflected in your application project description and budget. BHP staff will assist you with the requirements for the competitive selection of vendors. The grantee is responsible for the submission of deliverables on schedule and for documenting all work and expenditures. Vendors and/or personnel hired to complete the project work must have appropriate professional credentials which must be approved either at the time of application or prior to employment for the project. All contracts made with consultants or vendors must be approved by DHR prior to execution.
You should be prepared to hire an architect to design and oversee the progress of a rehabilitation project. (This will be part of your planning when applying for a rehabilitation grant.) All preservation work must be executed in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, which require the oversight of a qualified architect. Your grant manager can assist you with the competitive selection requirements for seeking the services of an architectural firm.