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Grants: Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties Q + A

Click here for a pdf of the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties Announcement and Q + A

1. What properties are eligible for a grant?

The grants are available for privately-owned properties (such as residences and commercial buildings), nonprofit-owned properties (such as historic sites) and public (nonfederal) properties (such as state- and municipally-owned buildings and historic parks).

2. Does the property have to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places?

All properties receiving grant assistance for development or construction work must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This includes individually listed properties and those contributing to the significance of a National Register historic district. Grants for construction work also may be awarded to properties that are deemed to be eligible for the National Register even if the formal listing process has not been completed. 

3. What are Eligible projects for grant assistance?

Eligible projects fall into the following categories:

a. Restoration Construction: construction to repair or restore a historic building that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

b. Archeological Stabilization: archeological sites may be eligible as long as the project meets certain requirements.

c. Landscaping: restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization, preservation, or protection of a documented historic landscape that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

d. Architecture & Engineering: preparation of architectural and engineering Plans and Specifications, Engineering Reports, Historic Structures Reports, and Landscape Studies.

e. Survey: survey and documentation of damaged historic resources, or survey to assess the level of damage to historic properties.

4. What are Ineligible projects for grant assistance?

a. Acquisition: Acquisition of real property is not an eligible cost for assistance from this emergency funding.

b. Major Reconstruction: Reconstruction is limited to portions of a historic property that still retain sufficient significance and integrity to remain listed in the National Register. Total reconstructions are not eligible for grant assistance. If specific features or elements of a building or landscape are missing and thus need to be recreated, this work is potentially eligible for funding (provided adequate historical documentation is available). Major reconstruction projects, such as reconstructing a building or landscape that has been completely destroyed, are not eligible for grant assistance. Vanished structures, by definition, have lost their integrity and therefore are no longer eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, or for grant assistance.

5. Are Architectural and Engineering plans and specifications for hurricane-damaged structures allowable costs?

Yes. However, costs incurred prior to October 29, 2012 may not be charged to this grant.

6. Are costs that have already been incurred allowable?

Yes, under certain conditions. The activities must have taken place after October 29, 2012 to be eligible for grant funding.

7. Will grant recipients be required to execute historic preservation covenants/easements?

Yes. Grant-recipients will be required to sign a covenant/easement recorded on the property deed of all grant projects. The minimum term lengths for those covenants are based on grant amounts and are as follows:

  • For grants up to $50,000—a five-year covenant/easement
  • For grants between $50,001 and $99,999—a ten-year covenant/easement
  • For grants of $100,000 and above—a twenty-year covenant/easement

8. Do Federal procurement requirements have to be met for work funded by this grant? Does the Davis-Bacon Act apply to Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Grant projects?

Grant recipients will be required to follow reasonable competitive bidding procedures. However, the federal Davis-Bacon Act that sets prevailing wage rules will not apply to these grants.

9. Who will select, approve, and review grant projects?

Members of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission will select and approve projects that apply for grants. The Commission’s professional staff will manage the individual grant projects and will review and approve plans and actual work performed in accordance with RIHPHC rules and the Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties issued by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Grants to properties that are National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) will also be reviewed by the National Park Service.


For more information, email Sarah Zurier, or call her at (401)222-4142.