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What financial incentives are available for fixing up an old/historic building?

Most of the funding sources available for historic buildings are for properties that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places by being in one of Albany’s National Register Historic Districts or being listed individually. To find out if your building is on the National Register of Historic Places, please go the Local Historic Inventory spreadsheet, which is sorted numerically and lists the National Register district name if the building is in a historic district. Contact Anne Catlin at 541-917-7560 if you have any questions.

Grants

Local

  • Albany's Residential Rehabilitation Matching Grant Program. The City of Albany has matching grant funds available for historic properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places through the Residential Rehabilitation Marching Grant Program. (Properties in the historic districts are on the National Register.) The matching grant is available for projects exterior projects. The matching grant is available for exterior projects including window repair, replacing non-wood windows, replacement of missing features, repair of historic elements visible from the street. For more information, contact Anne Catlin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Albany’s Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA) Grants and Loans.  CARA grants and loans are available for restoring Albany’s commercial and mixed use buildings in the heart of Albany’s CARA urban renewal district. Please call Urban Renewal Coordinator, Kate Porsche at 541-497-6228 or visit the CARA website for more information.

State of Oregon

National Register properties are eligible to apply for the “Preserving Oregon” rehabilitation grants offered by SHPO. Applications are invited, usually in November. Contact the SHPO for the grant schedule. Grants are awarded competitively since demand invariably exceeds availability of funds.  Visit the SHPO grant website.

National 

Visit the “Sources of Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects” website - www.achp.gov/funding.html. Grants are typically awarded to properties with regional, state or national significance as a result of unique craftsmanship, a historic event or famous person residing on the site and are extremely competitive.

Low-Income

Occasionally there is money available for certain types of improvement for low-income housing. Your household income must be below 80% of the median family income in order to be eligible. Please contact the Community Services Consortium for more information, 541-752-1010. 

Tax Incentives

Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Special Assessment (“Value Freeze”) Program:  This program allows owners of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places to apply to freeze the assessed value of the property for a 10-year period.  The program is designed as an incentive to assist property owners in the preservation of historic resources. The law establishes a requirement for a public open house once a year, the installation of a property identification plaque, and the option for commercial property owners to apply for an additional 10-year freeze. Go to the SHPO’s tax incentives website.

Eligibility for Federal Tax Credit:  The SHPO administers a federal tax credit program that can save building owners 20% of the cost of rehabilitating their National Register-listed commercial, industrial, or rental residential building. Requirements include submitting a short application form and performing only work that meets appropriate rehabilitation standards. Go to the SHPO’s tax incentives website.

Other Benefits

  • Building Code Leniency:  Under Section 3403.5 of the Uniform Building Code/Oregon Structural Specialty Code, buildings on the Local Historic Inventory are eligible to be considered for waivers of certain normal code requirements in the interest of preserving the integrity of the property.
  • Technical and Design Assistance: Free technical assistance is available for any historic renovation or rehabilitation project – including many topical brochures and handouts explaining how to go about rehabilitation your building.  The City's preservation planner has access to local and state experts, as well as technical information from the National Trust For Historic Preservation, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Historic Preservation League of Oregon, the University of Oregon School of Historic Preservation, and historic architects. City staff can assist you in preparing your preservation plan, finding solutions to old house problems, or helping you locate special products for historic buildings. 
  • Education: Seminars and workshops are held throughout the year to assist owners of historic properties with the special historic building concerns.  The Downtown branch of the Albany Public Library (302 Ferry Street) also has a large collection of preservation- related information that features a variety of historic resources materials including magazines, videos, books and local history.