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Emergency Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (E-HEAL) Grant

Emergency Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (E-HEAL) grants are intended to bring rural downtown buildings back from likely demolition or collapse and rehabilitate them into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, childcare, housing, arts and culture, or entrepreneurship. 

In 2023, the Kansas Legislature and Governor Kelly approved an annual allocation of $500,000 for E-HEAL projects, establishing a rolling deadline program that can be quickly reviewed and awarded to stabilize a building at risk of collapse.   

How to Apply

Buildings that are at risk of imminent loss, that are causing damage to surrounding downtown buildings, and/or have significant damage due to fire, storms, wind, etc. are eligible projects for E-HEAL. A maximum of $100,000 will be awarded per community. If there is more than one building affected due to an event, the city or another local organization can apply for the maximum of $100,000 to save more than one building. There is a 1:1 match required for this grant (Example: $100,000 cash match required for a $100,000 grant award). 

Emergency HEAL Program Information

Purpose

E-HEAL grants are intended to bring rural downtown buildings back from likely demolition or collapse and rehabilitate them into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, childcare, housing, arts and culture, or entrepreneurship. In 2023, the Kansas Legislature and Governor Kelly approved an annual allocation of $500,000 for E-HEAL projects, establishing a rolling deadline program that can be quickly reviewed and awarded to stabilize a building at risk of collapse.   

Buildings that are at risk of imminent loss, that are causing damage to surrounding downtown buildings, and/or have significant damage due to fire, storms, wind, etc. are eligible projects for E-HEAL. A maximum of $100,000 will be awarded per community. If there is more than one building affected due to an event, the city or another local organization can apply for the maximum of $100,000 to save more than one building. There is a 1:1 match required for this grant (Example: $100,000 cash match required for a $100,000 grant award). 

Business and Building Use Overview
  • The intent of this program is to bring this building into use by the end of the grant term, which is 30 months.  
  • The use of the building must be for one of the following: new or expanding businesses, childcare, healthcare, housing, arts and culture, or entrepreneurship.
  • In the application, the final intent of use of the building must be identified, however, the specific tenant must be identified by one year from award date, or occupants of the space must be identified and committed to by the 50% mark of construction completion. The second payment of the grant will not be paid until the business plan, proforma, and tenant commitment letter are provided, no later than one year from the date of the contract signing date.  
  • If the building was occupied at the time of the damage, it is eligible, however, an insurance claim, evaluation, and funding from insurance must be included as part of the project match.
Eligible Applicants

A private building owner MUST have an eligible local partnering support organization APPLY for the grant on their behalf. This organization will commit to supporting the project through the fiscal administration of the grant funds (distributing the payments to the building owner), tracking the bi-annual financial reports, and ensuring that the building owner is on track with program deadlines. 

Eligible supporting and applicant organizations include: 

  • Designated Kansas Main Street Programs
  • Economic Development Corporations or Chambers of Commerce
  • Cities 
  • Counties
  • Schools
  • 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 organizations 
  • Local Community Foundations
  • Tribal Nations
Funding

The amount of funding available is currently budgeted at $500,000 annually. The grant application will open February 8, 2024, and will remain open until June 3, 2024. On July 1, 2024, the next $500,000 of funding will be available. A maximum of $100,000 will be awarded per community annually. 

Awarded projects will be funded on the following schedule with the corresponding project milestones and deadlines:

  • 50% of the awarded amount when proof of commencement of construction is verified. Site visit required. 

Deadline: 4 months following grant award. 

NOTE: Site cleanup, removal of debris, and demolition do not qualify as construction. 

  • 25% of the awarded amount when 50% of construction completion has been verified. Site visit required. A business plan, pro-forma, and letter of tenant commitment are also required to receive this second payment. Deadline: one year from contract signature date.  
  • 25% of the awarded amount when 75% of construction completion has been verified. Site visit required. Deadline: two years after contract signature date.

Projects that complete milestones ahead of deadlines will receive award payments once project updates, appropriate documentation, verification, and a site visit can be completed. The purpose of this funding mechanism is to ensure rapid progress to rehabilitate these buildings and provide assurance for local financial partners.  

Progress will be evaluated through monthly project updates completed by the applicant, fiscal reports in June and December completed by the applicant, and site visits with Commerce staff throughout the project. These are all required to keep projects moving forward, resolve challenges as they arise, and ensure successful completion of the project.

Additional Project Eligibility Requirements
  • Projects must show potential for reuse and revitalization as economic drivers in the community.
  • The awarded project may include funding from any state or federal source if there is no duplication of benefit. Examples include Community Development Block Grant, USDA Rural Development, State Historic Preservation Office programs or local Network Kansas programs. Proof of this award, via a letter from the awarding agency will be required for proof of match.
  • Projects must incorporate Main Street Design Standards and follow local ordinances and codes for improvements. 
  • Award recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program.
  • Projects must begin construction no later than 4 months after the award notification letter is issued, with construction complete in two years, with a tenant in place by the end of 30 months.
    • NOTE: Site cleanup, removal of debris, and demolition do not qualify as construction. 
  • No more than one E-HEAL grant may be awarded to any city, but multiple projects can be funded with this single award in a community if the disaster or triggering event caused damage to more than one building.
  • Work previously completed to stabilize the building due to the emergency nature is eligible as matching funds, within 4 months of the application submission date.
Best Practices
  • Projects are encouraged to follow the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/rehabilitation.htm
  • Projects are also encouraged to use best preservation practices as outlined in the Preservation Briefs of the NPS. https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs.htm
  • Projects that are on the State or National Register of Historic Places or contributing buildings in a Historic District must follow these standard and best practices guidelines and receive appropriate state approvals before beginning work.
Required Supporting Materials with the Application
  • A structural engineering report must be provided showing that the building can be saved, or equivalent from an architect.
  • Preliminary architectural drawings are required to support the scope of work. Written contractor quotes are sufficient for projects that do not require architectural drawings such as roofing.
  • A 1:1 match (minimum) and proof of matching funds from the building owner. Proof of additional funding to complete the project (non E-HEAL funding) is strongly encouraged to demonstrate that the project can be completed in the required timeframe.
  • A letter signed by both the applicant and the building owner confirming commitment of both parties to the project. 
Eligible Building Grant Project Expenses

Masonry (including rebuilding of exterior walls), insulation, foundations, roofs and guttering, fire stairs, windows, doors, chimneys, walls, ceilings, floors, interior stairs, elevators, lighting and fixtures, electrical wiring, data and communication, wiring (not including equipment), HVAC systems and components, plumbing systems, fire suppression sprinkler systems and ADA accessibility solutions. This list is not exhaustive. Project expenses not listed here are at the discretion of the Kansas Secretary Commerce for eligibility under the grant. Up to 2% of the grant award may be retained by the applicant organization for project administration expenses. 

Ineligible Building Grant Project Expenses

Professional services (architect and engineering fees), acquisition costs, or leasing contracts. This list is not exhaustive. Grant funds are to be utilized for the physical construction of the project.

Building Grant Award Amount

A maximum of $100,000 is available per community, but the triggering event must be the same for each building that is being submitted to fund more than one building with this grant award.

Application Dates and Funding Available

Opens February 1 – June 3rd, 2024 at 11:59 PM. The 2025 fiscal year starts July 1, 2024, and the E-HEAL grant will reopen again on July 1, 2024, closing again on June 1, 2025. Award notifications will be made within no more than 15 business days of the receipt of a complete application. Available funding: $500,000.

HEAL Resources

Kansas Historic Resources Inventory (KHRI) Tutorials

Watch a video or read through how to navigate the KHRI Inventory.

HEAL Frequently Asked Questions

Who applies for the grant?

The grant application must be made by a local or county organization on behalf of the building’s owner. Eligible applicants include Designated Kansas Main Street Programs, Economic Development Corporations, City or County Government, 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 organizations and Community Foundations.

This program does not limit applications from prior regular HEAL awards. Any Kansas community can apply for E-HEAL if there is an eligible triggering event or disaster.

Will property owners be able to apply on their own?

No. The application must come from an eligible organization with the support of the property owner.

Are the organizations that apply required to financially contribute to the project?

No. Applicant organizations are required to endorse the project, but they are not financially obligated to contribute to the project.

Is there a population requirement for applicants?

Yes. Projects must be in cities with a population of fewer than 50,000 people. Of the 729 cities in Kansas, 720 meet this threshold.

Is the project required to be in a specific area of the community?

Yes. Projects must be located in the downtown business district or a connecting corridor. If you are uncertain if your project is within your downtown, please email [email protected]

Once the building is rehabilitated is it required that a viable business will be occupying the space?

Yes. The intent of making these building improvements is so a viable business can utilize the newly renovated space. This can be an existing business or a brand-new business. Part of the application must include a pro-forma/financial plan and a business plan.

If I have received other federal or state funding for this project—ARPA, SPARK, USDA, CDBG, SHPO, etc.— can those be applied as a match?

Yes, as long as the requirements of the other funds allow for HEAL funds to be added to the project.

What are my chances of receiving this grant?

That is difficult to answer, but these are competitive grants. During the first round of HEAL funding, more than 240 applications were submitted requesting nearly $14 million funding. A team at the Department of Commerce will carefully review and score each application based on merit, project eligibility and need.

How much can I receive for my project?

The maximum Building Grant Award Amount is $30 per square foot of the building area, not to exceed $100,000. The maximum Facade Grant Award Amount is $30 per square foot of the façade area, not to exceed $40,000.

I received an E-HEAL grant (or regular HEAL grant) the last time around? Can I apply this round?

No. Applications will not be accepted for projects in communities that received E-HEAL or HEAL grants in the last round.

Can I apply for more than one project in my downtown?

Yes, but the damage on multiple buildings must have been caused from the same event on the same day. The maximum community award is $100,000.

I have one property owner in my downtown that owns several contiguous buildings and needs funding for one project for all of these buildings. Is that an eligible project?

Yes. If one person has three buildings that are connected and that project includes all three of those buildings, that is an eligible use, up to the $100,000 maximum.

I have already started my project. Is it eligible for a HEAL grant?

If expenses have been incurred to stabilize the building in the last 4 months prior to the application submission date but after the disaster date, these expenses are eligible expenses and can count as match toward the project.

Does my project have to follow any Design Standards?

Projects must incorporate Main Street Design Standards. Projects must also follow state or local ordinances and code for rehab/construction/façade improvements.

Does my project have to follow any Preservation Standards?

Projects are encouraged to follow the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/rehabilitation.htm

Projects are also encouraged to use best preservation practices as outlined in the Preservation Briefs of the National Park Service.

https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs.htm

Projects that are on the State or National Register of Historic Places or contributing buildings in a State or National Register Historic District MUST follow these standards and best practice guidelines and receive appropriate state approvals with the Kansas State Historical Society office before beginning work.

Main Street Design Standards
Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid with Historic Buildings
Sample Application
Sample Budget
Program Inquiries

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