The following are a list of funding sources available for Historic Preservation in Ontario.
Local Funding Sources.
The Mills Act. The Mills Act is a contract with the City that lowers your property taxes in exchange for putting the money you save back into the house. The Mills Act requires that the property be maintained and its historic character preserved.
Rehabilitation Tax Credit. The Federal Government offers a variety of tax credits that assist preservation projects, notably a credit that is available only for rehabilitation of income-producing historic properties. Under this historic preservation tax credit, property owners who rehabilitate historic buildings for commercial, industrial, agricultural, or rental residential purposes can receive a tax credit equal to 20 percent of the rehabilitation costs. The quality of the rehabilitation must be certified by the National Park Service. Between 1996 and 2001, the availability of the credit leveraged more than $4.76 million in private investment.
Other Federal tax credits can also be used in preservation projects and can be combined with the historic preservation tax credit. For example, there is a Federal tax credit for acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of low-income housing. From 1996 to 2001, 27,851 low and moderate income housing units were created in historic properties using the low-income housing tax credit in conjunction with the historic preservation tax credit.
For case studies illustrating how the credits have been combined, visit:
A new Federal tax credit that has just become available, the New Markets Tax Credit, may also offer similar opportunities. The credit is targeted at drawing investment to businesses and commercial projects in distressed urban, rural, and suburban communities. To learn more, visit:
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Communities Program (Contact your local community development department).
Save America's Treasures Federal funds for preservation of nationally significant historic resources.
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), a Federal Highways Administration program with a component for preservation of transportation related historic resources. (Contract your regional transportation commission.)
The Great American Station Foundation offers grants to preserve functioning railway stations. Grants provide either seed money for planning projects or funds for actual restoration.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation offers matching grants to non-profits and public agencies for planning and education, preservation of "an authentic sense of place" and for restoration of historic interiors as well as loan programs.
Federal Maritime grants for historic ships, lighthouses and other maritime related resources. (Program is presently without funding. This site has links to other potential maritime funding.)
Partners for Sacred Places is an organization dedicated to historic preservation of religious resources. These resources are normally ineligible for most government grant programs because of the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state. Partners for Sacred Places does not have an actual grant program but does offer plenty of good advice for fundraising.
The California Council for the Humanities offers grant programs that promotes cultural projects. Communities Speak funds projects that use story and storytelling to address pressing contemporary issues. The California Documentary Project sponsors documentary images and text of contemporary California life. The California Story Fund grants funds to unique story projects throughout the state.