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Disaster Assistance Funding Needed for Hurricane-Battered Historic Properties and Main Streets
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy
Website: http://www.preservationnation.org

The damage to historic properties and downtown main streets from the devasting floods wrought by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee have spurred the preservation community to begin formulating a possible disaster-assistance package modeled on measures enacted after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Among the ideas being considered are: 1) bricks and mortar preservation grants to provide immediate assistance to affected historic properties; 2) a boost in the federal rehabilitation tax credit to spur rehab of damaged commercial properties in the affected areas; and 3) a pilot homeownership tax credit for historic homes affected by the hurricane.  The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up a bill this week that approves $6 billion in disaster assistance in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) FY'12 Appropriations bill which would be distributed largely through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  However, in the wake of Katrina it was State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) that distributed $40 million in bricks and mortar grants and administered a boosted federal rehab credit for properties in the Gulf Coast states.  While the elements of a disaster assistance package are being considered, it may be weeks before a final damage assessment can be made on the final cost of the disaster to historic properties in the affected states. 

Reprinted with permission from the National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy



Posted: September 13, 2011
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