Historic Preservation Fund - - Why full funding matters in your neighborhood!
Even with chronic underfunding, since its creation in 1976 the HPF has facilitated over 80,000 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, the survey of millions of acres for cultural resources, and $109 billion in private investment through the Historic Tax Credit – which has rehabilitated 40,000 historic buildings and created 2.4 million jobs. Nevertheless, every day irreplaceable historic places are threatened and known and unknown archaeological sites are lost – America’s history deserves better! Full and permanent funding for the Historic Preservation Fund – as promised – is needed to help mitigate these threats and to continue to revitalize communities, and enable responsible economic development.
- Finding America’s Historic Places – in your neighborhood!
Longstanding and chronic underfunding continues to seriously jeopardize local, state and federal preservation efforts. In 1966 the National Historic Preservation Act called for a comprehensive and assessable “inventory” of historic properties. Knowing the type of resource and its location makes for smart and efficient project decision making at the local, state and federal levels. However, a recent 2013 survey of State Historic Preservation Officers found that in every State, the lack of funding has resulted in a patchwork of data (sometimes more than 30 years old) that often is not digitized with records existing only in paper form (see Survey & Inventory Fact Sheet). In short, efficient and quality decision-making and public input must be informed by quality information.
- Building Community and Private Support for Preservation – in your neighborhood!
The recent recession and stagnant federal funding has resulted in reduced budgets and fewer staff in State Historic Preservation Offices. With reduced financial and personnel capacity each day SHPOs face difficult choices – sometimes necessitating the reduction or elimination of core programs such as – survey and records digitization, public education and training, and technical assistance to Certified Local Governments (CLG’s) – which in turn can impact support for state and local preservation commissions. By supporting full funding for the HPF you will help bring these programs and preservation opportunities to your neighborhood!Is your local government one of the 1,900 Certified Local Governments? If so, they are eligible to receive direct HPF funding through the SHPO!
- Saving Historic Resources – in your neighborhood!
The NHPA of 1966 also called for the HPF to be used to save and rehabilitate threatened historic properties. Due to HPF underfunding, most States have eliminated or substantially reduced grants for much needed rehabilitation projects. Many times a small amount of grant funding can spark the revitalization of a Main Street, bring new pieces of our history to light, or stabilize an important resource until future opportunities can be found.
It’s time for Congress to stop breaking its promise to save America’s history and start fully funding the Historic Preservation Fund!