Historic Properties Repair Program
The City implemented a Historic Property Repair Program to assist low or moderate-income homeowners living in historic houses to make needed exterior repairs to their properties. Historic houses are an integral part of Philadelphia’s unique neighborhoods. Through this program the City seeks to enhance opportunities for low and moderate income homeowners to participate in the revitalization of their neighborhoods by assisting with the rehabilitation of historic houses.
The goal of this program will be to help maintain the character and uniqueness of Philadelphia’s historic districts and properties without placing an unnecessary financial strain on low and moderate-income homeowners.
Eligible Activities: Funds are to be used to pay the incremental cost increase for repairs that meet the historic guidelines over repairs that would not meet the guidelines. For example, program funds could be used to pay the difference in price for using a historically appropriate window instead of a vinyl replacement window. Funds will be used for exterior repairs, i.e. exterior façade improvements, including porch and cornice repairs, window replacements, painting and step replacement or any other work that is subject to review by the Historical Commission.
Eligible Beneficiaries: Owner-occupied single family properties or duplexes. Household income must be less than 80% of area median income. Beneficiaries must be current in all City taxes or current in payment agreements.
Eligible Areas: Properties listed as “contributing” or “significant” located in districts listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places will be given top priority. Individually-designated properties listed on the Philadelphia Register and historic properties located in districts on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places also qualify for the program. The proposing organization must select appropriate target neighborhoods that meet these guidelines.
Role of the Philadelphia Historical Commission: All work funded by the program will be approved by the Historical Commission. Any work that requires a building permit or that changes the appearance of a locally designated historic property must have the approval of the Historical Commission before the Department of Licenses and Inspections will issue a building permit. When the scope of work exceeds the staff’s jurisdiction, the Architectural Committee and the Historical Commission will review it. For this program, Historical Commission staff will be responsible for review and approval of all repair work performed under the Historic Property Repair Program to ensure proper execution of repairs and compliance with historical standards.
Historic Tax Credits
Historic buildings may qualify for a historic rehabilitation federal tax credit of 20 percent of construction costs. The State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service administer this program. The project must:
- be on the National Register, contribute to a National Register district, or contribute to a municipal historic district certified as meeting federal standards;
- be an income-producing property; and
- comply with The Secretary of the Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
To discover if a property is on the Historical Commission
In addition to individually listed historic
properties, the City contains eight local historic districts:
1. Diamond Street
2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park
3. Girard Estates
4. Old City
5. Park Mall
7. Society Hill
8. Spring Garden
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