What financial incentives are available for improving an old/historic building?
Grants and Loans
National Register properties are eligible to apply for the “Preserving Oregon” rehabilitation grants offered by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Applications are invited, usually in November, and are awarded competitively. Contact the SHPO for the grant schedule.
Visit the “Federal Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects” website. 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. Grant awards are extremely competitive.
Occasionally there is money available for certain types of improvement for low-income housing. Household income must be below 80% of the median family income in order to be eligible. Income limits are listed on the Community Development Block Grant Programs page. Please visit the DevNW Home Repair Program webpage to learn more.
Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Special Assessment (“Value Freeze”) Program
This program allows a freeze on the assessed value of the property for a 10-year period, of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The program is designed as an incentive to assist property owners in the preservation of historic resources. Property owners must apply for the freeze, 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. Visit the SHPO’s tax incentives website for more information.
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. Visit the SHPO’s tax incentives website for more information.
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 rehabilitate 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, and helping you locate special products for historic buildings.
Seminars and workshops are held throughout the year to assist owners of historic properties with 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.