Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grant – Preliminary Applications Due January 7, 2022

The grant application deadline has passed. We look forward to reviewing the grant submissions that were received.

Preservation Texas is pleased to announce that we are now accepting Preliminary Applications (the link will take you to Submittable.com) for our new Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grants Program. This program will provide matching grants of up to $75,000 to support the stabilization, preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of at least ten rural African-American historic buildings in Texas that had institutional or commercial uses.

Livestone Lodge #152 in Grand Prairie, demolished. The building had included on the Preservation Texas Most Endangered Places list.

The Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grants Program has been made possible by a generous $750,000 Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant to Preservation Texas from the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS program is designed to support the rehabilitation of historic properties that will encourage economic development in rural communities.

1. Why did Preservation Texas create this grant program?

Preservation Texas created the program to provide funding directly to the most endangered historic places in our state: rural African-American historic buildings. The program is an outgrowth of our Most Endangered Places list, established in 2004, that provides public awareness about endangered buildings across Texas but did not provide funding.

2. What types of buildings are eligible for this grant program?

Per the requirements of the National Park Service, all eligible buildings must be:

More specifically to the Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grants program, eligible buildings must:

  • Have served an African-American institutional or community commercial use, such as a church, lodge, school, theater, or similar building;
  • Be owned by a non-profit organization or a municipal or county government (or a unit thereof); and
  • Be endangered because of structural and physical issues.

3. What types of projects are eligible for this grant program?

Grant funds may only be used for the physical stabilization, preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of eligible buildings. Properties that receive funding that are not presently listed on the National Register must complete and submit a nomination as part of the project.  Preservation Texas will work with applicants and with the Texas Historical Commission to determine if your building is eligible for listing.

All project elements funded must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation. More specifically, proposed projects must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Examples of the types of projects that would qualify:

  • Exterior restoration or preservation of the historic building, including but not limited to the foundation, framing, walls, siding, doors, windows, roofs, and steeples of an eligible building;
  • Removal of non-historic siding, windows, additions, or alterations;
  • Stabilization or bracing of failing structural elements, such as porches, walls, and roofs;
  • Essential interior rehabilitation of historic, character-defining features, such as floors, walls, staircases, and ceilings.

Please note:

  • Grant funds may not be used to acquire a site.
  • Grant funds may not be used for site planning, architectural assessments, engineering reports, or similar work.
  • Grant funds may not be used to restore or rehabilitate non-historic additions to historic buildings, or other non-historic structures on the site of an otherwise eligible historic building.
  • Grant funds may not be used to construct or repair non-historic additions or alterations to the historic building.
  • Grant funds may not be used to construct or repair site amenities, landscaping, signage, or other site elements unrelated to the historic building.
  • Grant funds may not be used to relocate historic structures.
  • Grant funds may not be used to update or renovate kitchens, bathrooms, elevators, plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, parking lots, exhibits.

4. How much money is available?

The total amount available for the Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grants is $750,000. We anticipate awarding at least ten grants, with a maximum grant award of $75,000 each.  Please note that all applicants will be required to provide a cash match of 25% of the total project cost up to $25,000; for example, a $100,000 project seeking a grant of $75,000 would require a cash match of $25,000.

Note 1: This is a reimbursement grant, meaning that grant funds are released by Preservation Texas only after funds have been expended on the project. A project timeline will be developed with each grant recipient

Note 2: The required 25% match must be a cash match.

Note 3: Non-profit-owned structures will be strongly encouraged to make use of the 25% state historic preservation tax credit; the tax credit will provide a source of funding for the 25% matching funds required.

5. What is the criteria for scoring applications for Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grants?

Proposed projects will be scored on an equal basis using the following scoring criteria:

  • Physical Endangerment (30 points)
  • Historical Significance (30 points)
  • Project Viability (25 points)
  • Rural Economic Impact (10 points)
  • Special Considerations (5 points)

6. What is the process for applying for a Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grant?

The grant application process will be a multi-step process:

  • Preliminary application deadline closed on Friday, January 7, 2022. We are no longer accepting applications.
  • Preservation Texas will review the Preliminary Applications and invite Final Applications for those projects that meet the eligibility requirements of the program on a rolling basis.
  • A draft version of the Final Application will be due to Preservation Texas by Friday, March 4, 2022 for comment and review.
  • The Final Application will be due Friday, April 1, 2022. Applications will be reviewed and scored based on criteria outlined below.
  • Grant awards will be announced on Monday, May 2, 2022 during National Historic Preservation Month.
  • All grants must be completed by September 2024; a specific project timeline will be developed and agreed upon with each grant recipient.

7. What if I need assistance with site planning, architectural drawings, engineering assessments, and historic research?

Good preservation planning is essential for a successful project. Preservation Texas will work with each applicant to determine how best to support these needs through reduced or pro bono assistance for otherwise eligible projects. Our goal is to support as many applicants as possible.  We will contact each Preliminary Applicant to discuss these needs in more detail if assistance is needed.

8. What else is required of applicants who are awarded a Texas Rural African-American Heritage grant?

Per National Park Service requirements:

  • Grant recipients must be able to comply with the required completion schedule for the project.
  • A preservation covenant will be required, based on the size of the grant. Grants of $50,000 or less require a 5 year protective covenant; grants of $50,001 to $75,000 require a 10 year protective covenant. These covenants will be held by Preservation Texas and recorded with the deed in the county in which the building is located.
  • Grant recipients must adhere to OMB regulations in 2 CFR 200 and the Historic Preservation Fund Grant Manual.
  • Grant recipients must have adequate financial resources for performance, the necessary experience, organization, technical qualifications, and facilities; or a firm commitment, arrangement, or ability to obtain such;
  • Grant recipients must have a satisfactory record of integrity, sound judgment, and satisfactory performance, especially with prior performance upon grants and contracts;
  • Grant recipients must have an adequate accounting system and auditing procedures to provide effective accountability and control of property, funds, and assets sufficient to meet audit requirements.

9. What is the role of the National Park Service in this program?

Grants awarded through the Texas Rural African-American Heritage Grants Program are being funded by the National Park Service.  NPS oversight includes:

  • Review of selected subgrants;
  • Review and approval of projects for compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation;
  • Review and approval for compliance with Sections 106 and 110f of the National Historic Preservation Act;
  • Review and approval for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA);
  • Review and approval of project signage to notify the public of federal involvement;  
  • Review of final executed preservation covenant;
  • Verification of submission of any subgrants over $30,000 federal share to Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Subaward Reporting System (FSRS); and
  • Any other reviews as determined by the NPS based on program needs or financial/programmatic risk risk factors (i.e., draft National Register nominations, etc.)

10. What is the role of the Texas Historical Commission in this program?

While Preservation Texas is an independent, private non-profit organization, the Texas Historical Commission (State Historic Preservation Office) will play an important regulatory role in this grant program.

  • National Register of Historic Places eligibility determinations and nomination approvals through the State Board of Review
  • State historic preservation tax credit reviews and approvals for qualifying projects
  • Federal regulatory compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and other relevant federal laws in conjunction with the National Park Service

We look forward to working with you to preserve the rural African-American Heritage of Texas!