- 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?
- What types of projects are eligible for grant assistance?
- In what manner are grant funds provided?
- 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?
- Is there a guide on how to apply for grant assistance?
- 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 DHR?
- 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 Chapter 267.0617, Florida Statutes, Chapter 1A-39, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), and the program's guidelines.
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, for a structure to be eligible for a Development Grant (for instance rehabilitation or restoration) it must be historically significant. Properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places or that have been designated as National Historic Landmarks would be considered highly competitive. However, there is no requirement of listing at the local or national level to be eligible for a historic preservation grant.
Any work to be conducted on a property using grant assistance (both state and federal) must be carried out in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation. Please see these standards and additional information at https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards.htm.
Q: Can I get a grant to rehabilitate my home or business?
A: Division of Historical Resources (DHR) grant funds are available only for non-profit organizations, state agencies (including universities), local governments, and units of local governments. Projects funded by the Historic Preservation Grants Program must serve the public interest, and must be accessible to the public.
DHR grant funds are not available for properties owned by private individuals or for-profit corporations.
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: What types of projects are eligible for grant assistance?
A:The Historic Preservation Grants Program funds a variety of project types such as Cultural Resource Surveys, Planning, National Register Nominations, Education and Publication, Development, and more. For specifics on project types, please review the Division Grant Guidelines and How to Apply webinar presentations available for download on our program’s webpages.
Q: In what manner are grant funds provided?
A: If selected for funding, a proposed project will be provided funds in fixed price allotments as work is undertaken and approved by DHR. For specifics regarding payment, please review the How to Manage Your Grant webinar presentation available on our program’s webpages.
Q: How do I obtain a Historic Preservation grant application?
A: The Historic Preservation Grants Program utilizes an online grant application system. Grant applications must be completed and submitted using the Department of State grants online system during the announced grant submission periods. All applicants must register at dosgrants.com and be associated in the system with their organization. If you would like to access a sample application, please visit our program's Small Matching or Special Category webpages.
Q: When are applications due?
A: Applications are to be submitted via the online system during the submission period announced for that year. Please access the main grants web page at www.flheritage.com/grants for current submission period deadlines.
Q: What are the match requirements for the grant program?
A: Both Small Matching and Special Category Grants require a 100% match of the requested grant funds. Please see below for exceptions to these match requirements.
Q: Are match requirements ever reduced or waived?
A: For Small Matching Grant Applications, match for proposed projects located in Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities and counties is waived in full (0% match). For Special Category Grant Applications, match for proposed projects located in REDI communities and counties is reduced to 25% of the requested Grant Award. The REDI Program is administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity. Please contact DEO for the most up-to-date information on the REDI designation.
For Small Matching Grant Applications submitted by Certified Local Governments (CLG) the match requirement is waived. The CLG Program is administered by our Division of Historical Resources. Please contact the CLG coordinator for information on CLG designation.
For Small Matching Main Street Start-up grants the match requirement is waived. The Main Street Program is administered by our Division of Historical Resources. Please contact the Main Street coordinator for information.
Special Statewide Projects solicited by the Division of Historical Resources and Main Street grants do not require a match.
Q: Is there a guide on how to apply for grant assistance?
A: The Historic Preservation Grants Program has prepared webinars on How to Apply for a Small Matching Grant and How to Apply for a Special Category Grant. The pdf versions of such are available on our program’s webpages.
Q: How are applications evaluated?
A: DHR staff reviews for eligibility and completes a technical review of eligible applications. A staff report is prepared for each eligible application. The Grant Application Review Panel for Small Matching grants or the Florida Historical Commission (FHC) for Special Category grants reviews and scores applications at a public meeting. The public meeting can be attended by applicants in person or via call-in participation. After the public discussion of all projects, application scores are averaged and all applications are ranked according to their total average score.
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. These are explained in the Guidelines, as well as in both the How to Apply for a Small Matching Grant and How to Apply for a Special Category Grant presentations posted on the program’s webpages.
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 public review meetings.
Formal presentations are not allowed at the public meetings and no material can be submitted at that time, 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 a Review Panel (for Small Matching Applications) or by the Florida Historical Commission (for Special Category Applications), the recommended list is submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. The amount of funding to be awarded for grant assistance 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, applicants will be notified by the grants program. Although grant funds become available on July 1, funds will not be distributed until specific benchmarks in the Grant Award Agreement are met.
Q: Is grant funding guaranteed if my application is recommended by the Secretary of State?
A: Funding is not guaranteed. Funding of individual awards is based on the scores and rankings by the Review Panel or Florida Historical Commission and the amount of funding appropriated by the Legislature as signed into law by the Governor. Applications will be funded according to the order of the ranking list until the funding amount has been allocated.
Q: Do I have to submit updates on my project to DHR?
A: All Grantees are required to submit quarterly Progress Reports. These reports track your project’s status and the grant and/or match funds expended and should include additional required documentation specified in the Grant Award Agreement. Other forms are required to request payment and to evidence meeting project benchmarks.
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 work description and budget. DHR staff will assist you with the requirements for the competitive selection of vendors. Even when hiring professionals, the Grantee is responsible for the submission of Deliverables on schedule and for documenting all work and expenditures. Professionals 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 must be approved by DHR prior to execution.
You should be prepared to hire an architect to design and oversee the progress of a Development project. All preservation work must be executed in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, which requires the oversight of a qualified architect.