HUD No. 04-150
December 16, 2004
HUD PUBLISHES "PRESERVING AMERICA" - A HOW-TO GUIDE TO PROMOTE HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND TOURISM
Federal funding available to preserve historic places, promote tourism and create jobs
WASHINGTON - From big cities to small-town America, there is a growing movement to preserve the places that recall another time in our nation's history. According to a new guide published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, historic preservation can also serve as powerful force in stimulating "heritage tourism," economic development and job growth.
Building upon First Lady Laura Bush's initiative to preserve our nation's cultural and natural heritage, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson today released a new booklet entitled Preserving America - Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism in Housing and Community Development. This "how-to" guide is intended to help state and local governments access funding through the Department's Community Development Block Grant program as a vehicle for historic preservation consistent with the national objectives of the program.
"All across our country, communities are rediscovering and restoring the places that were so important to our parents and grandparents," said Jackson. "This publication gives local leaders an important tool to access the funding they need to preserve those places while promoting tourism and economic development in the process."
"This important and helpful booklet is an excellent example of how governments at all levels are working together to save our heritage through Preserve America," said John L. Nau, III, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. "Preserving our past is also a catalyst for economic development and heritage tourism as more Americans want to experience and share the history that continues to make our Nation great."
First Lady Laura Bush launched Preserve America as a White House initiative in September 2003, to encourage and support local efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the Nation's past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities. Detailed information on the initiative can be found at www.PreserveAmerica.gov.
For the past 30 years, CDBG has awarded over $108 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities. While the rehabilitation of affordable housing has traditionally been the largest single use of the grants, CDBG is also an important catalyst for job growth and business opportunities. CDBG funds are distributed by formula around the country based on a community's population, poverty levels, growth rate, housing overcrowding and the age of its housing stock.
Historic preservation is a specific eligible activity under CDBG rules, along with land acquisition and planning that support preservation activities. Local communities often use historic preservation as a mechanism to protect an historic place, encourage small businesses, revitalize downtowns, create jobs and improve entire communities. Heritage tourism is an economic development tool designed to attract visitors to an area based on its unique history, landscape and culture. This not only boosts regional and local pride but also can be a good source of revenue and employment for a community.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.