Historic Preservation Funding

Grants For Homeowners, Commercial Businesses And Other Private Entities.

For individuals and businesses, historic preservation grants are rare and historic preservation construction funds are virtually non-existent. Tax credits have replaced direct funding to support commercial rehabilitations of historic buildings. These credits can be generous, depending on the size of the project and other factors. If you intend to use the credits here is one word of advice: Immediately contact the Montana State Historic Preservation architect – 406-447-7718 - and stay in contact with them throughout the project. This is crucial. More information is here: Tax Credits

Helena Tax Abatement assistance is available, too, for home owners and commercial historic preservation projects. If you increase your property value by %5 and invest more than $25,000 in your property you can apply for tax reductions for 5 years. New Construction qualifies if it is in a historic district and meets historic design guidelines. 

On occasion – in Montana– some funding for special categories of construction (historic barn repair, for example) has been available. Check the SHPO website for updates on these possibilities. These are small grants and must be matched.

Grants For Local Government and Non-Profits

In Montana there are two primary sources that assist local government and non-profits: CTEP funds from the Montana Department of Transportation (through local government) and the semi-annual distribution of Coal Trust funds through the state

Cultural & Aesthetic Trust. Neither are easy to get or to administer but they can provide substantive dollar amounts).

Other sources – if your project has the right components – might help you. These are:

Site Specific Projects:

Montana and County Community Foundations (small grants)

The Jerry Metcalf Foundation (small grants)

Montana Office of Tourism (Substantive Historic Preservation funding for the right projects supporting tourist visitation)

Montana Department of Commerce – 2009 Stimulus Grants (short term availability. No matching!)

National Trust for Historic Preservation (some special funding for projects, some loan money and a good source of general information)

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (a web site with federal possibilities for funding)

Save America’s Treasures (major grants for nationally significant sites and collections – not small and not locally helpful)

Preserve America (White House program linked to ‘heritage tourism’ or visitation based on an interest in history – good for non-construction projects supporting that. Awarded to communities achieving Preserve America status)

The Montana Committee for the Humanities (educational, intellectual – good for interpreting historic places, programs, etc.)

The Montana Arts Council (arts related)

The National Endowment for the Arts (arts related – architecture?)

Community & Economic Development Projects (larger scale):

Community Development Block Grants (low income or economic development related – also supports planning)

Resource Indemnity Trust (major community infrastructure – renewable resources, etc. Funds a lot of sewer lines)

INTERCAP program – State Board of Investments (loans money to local governments for facilities)

Economic Development Administration (connected to creating jobs – could be linked to very large, broad scale projects. Can help with planning such projects)

Farmer’s Home Administration (rural development)

Land Use Agency Sites:

US Forest Service  (through Challenge grants and a program called RAC, funds community cooperative projects on the forests – can and does restore historic sites)

Bureau of Land Management – Challenge Cost Share funds (connected to BLM lands and can support local preservation projects – not often used)