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Certified Local Government Grant Program


The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470), establishes the legal and administrative context within which State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) relate to and participate in the national historic preservation program.

The Act establishes a program of matching grants to the states through which the federal government assists the SHPOs in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities.

Presently, federal law provides that at least 10 percent of the annual Historic Preservation Fund grant allocation to Pennsylvania be set aside for distribution to Certified Local Governments (CLG). This amount is approximately $115,000. The Certified Local Government Grant is the only grant offered under this program.


Application Deadline - January 13, 2017

Please submit all application materials by email to Bryan Van Sweden by 5:00 pm.

CLG grant applications are NOT submitted through the PHMC eGrant application website.

Please download the FY 2017 Certified Local Government Grant Application (MS Word) and consult the updated Certified Local Government Grant Guidelines and Instructions (PDF) to complete the FY 2017 Certified Local Government grant application.

Please contact your regional Community Preservation Coordinator if you plan to submit a CLG grant.

Certified Local Government (CLG) Grants require a 50/50 match.


Eligible CLG Grant Activities

  • Shared Services / Curcuit Rider
  • Planning
  • Design Guidelines / Design Assistance
  • National Register Nominations / Multiple Property Documentation
  • Cultural Resource Survey
  • Revitalization / Reuse Studies
  • Public Education and Training
  • Municipal Program Administration


Availability of Funds

Grant awards are subject to the annual availability of funds from the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Funding is based on the federal fiscal year, October through September.

No certified local government can receive more than 30 percent of the available share of funds unless this requirement would preclude the award of the required 10 percent allocation.


Who May Apply

Funding under this program is limited to Certified Local Governments. (See "How to Become a Certified Local Government" at the end of this section.) Designation as a Certified Local Government under federal law should not be confused with the certification of local districts under the Historic District Act passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1961. Clarification in this regard may be obtained by contacting the grant administrator. Please refer to the Contact and Forms page.

Municipalities do not have to achieve Certified Local Government status at the time the grant application is due, but they must have achieved Certified Local Government status by the contract start date in order to receive grant funds.


Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive a portion of the local share of the Federal Historic Preservation Fund allocation to Pennsylvania, the Department of the Interior requires that each Certified Local Government:

  • Must comply with the conditions of its Certification Agreement;
  • Must meet the federal standards of the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-102 (Common Rule) "Grants and Cooperative Agreements with Local Governments"
  • Must be auditable in accordance with OMB Circular A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations" (PDF) Appendix A "Data Collection Form (Form SF-SAC)," and Appendix B "April 1999 Compliance Supplement"
  • Must adhere to all required administrative procedures in OMB Circular A-87 (Revised 5/10/04), "Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments" (PDF)
  • Must adhere to any requirements mandated by the United States Congress regarding use of federal historic preservation funds. (The State Historic Preservation Office will advise Certified Local Governments of any new directives.); and
  • Must adhere to requirements specified by the State Historic Preservation Office in the Grant Agreement.


General Conditions

There are a number of general conditions for Certified Local Government Grants.

  • All grants are awarded on a 50/50 matching basis.
  • In-kind contributions may be used to satisfy the matching requirement; however, cash matches of new dollars are strongly encouraged and will be considered in the evaluation process.
  • The minimum amount awarded will be $3,000; and the maximum amount awarded will generally not exceed $18,000. The Review Committee may, at its discretion, approve an award greater than $18,000.
  • Eligible activities must begin within forty-five days of the date that the fully executed Grant Agreement is sent to the grantee.
  • Consultant selection requires a competitive process.


Ineligible Activities

Certified Local Government Grants may not be used to fund the following:

  • Acquisition of historic properties; and
  • Development / construction projects for historic structures/properties including stabilization, rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction.

CLG funded activities must meet the goals and objectives of the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Plan (PDF).


Pooling CLG Grants and Third Party Administration

  • Grants under certain conditions can be pooled by Certified Local Governments for specific purposes. For example, several CLGs could pool a grant to share the services of a preservation professional who could travel among the CLGs as a "circuit rider". Pooling is available only among local governments that are certified.
  • CLG grants may, under certain conditions, be administered by a designated third party. Designation of a third party to administer a grant is not a procurement action. The designated party may be another certified local government, a commercial firm, a nonprofit entity or an educational institution.
  • CLGs interested in pursuing this type of funding should contact their regional Community Preservation Coordinator early in the application process.


Grant Period and Implementation Timetable

The Application Submission Deadline for Federal FY 2016 is January 11, 2016.

The following timetable for processing grant applications and implementing projects is provided for your information and as a planning guide. Remember, grant awards are subject to the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service.

February 2017
Peer Review Panel Meets/Discusses Applications

Spring 2017
PHMC Approves Panel Recommendations/Makes Awards

Spring 2017
Award/Rejection Letters and Grant Agreements Mailed to Applicants

August 2017
Project Start Date/Fully Executed Grant Agreement

July 31, 2018
Project End Date/Final Reports Due

Projects will not be extended beyond the twelve (12) month implementation period.


Maximum Number of Awards

Eligible applicants may submit only one application for a Certified Local Government Grant.

Applicants meeting the relevant eligibility requirements may apply for and may receive one Certified Local Government grant, one type of Keystone Historic Preservation grant (either Construction or Project grant) in a fiscal year.

Please review the grant program guidelines for each category of support.



Applicants are required to submit a completed application as outlined in the Certified Local Government Grant Program Guidelines and Application Instructions. CLG grant applications submitted via the eGrant will not be accepted.


How to Become a Certified Local Government

The National Historic Preservation Act amendments of 1980 that established the Certified Local Government Program contains five broad standards, all of which must be met by the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) or the local historical preservation commission before the local government can be certified.

  • Local governments must "enforce appropriate state or local legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties."
  • Local governments must "establish by state or local legislation an adequate and qualified historic preservation review commission or HARB composed of professional and lay members."
  • Local governments must "maintain a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties."
  • Local governments must "provide for adequate public participation in the local historic preservation programs, including the process of recommending properties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places."
  • Local governments must "satisfactorily perform the responsibilities delineated above and those specifically delegated to it under the Act by the State Historic Preservation Officer."