Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL)

Grant application closes on December 20, 2021

The Department of Commerce is offering matching grants for the revitalization of underutilized, vacant, or dilapidated downtown buildings through the Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) program. The grants are intended to bring buildings back into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, childcare, housing, arts and culture, civic engagement, or entrepreneurship.

Watch the Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) Grant Program Webinar

The virtual workshop on the specifics of the program was scheduled for 11:00 a.m., November 8th.

HEAL Program Information

Eligible Applicants

Building owners of underutilized, vacant or dilapidated downtown buildings in coordination with a local nominating organization are eligible to apply.


The Department of Commerce is offering matching grants for the revitalization of underutilized, vacant, or dilapidated downtown buildings through the Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) program. The grants are intended to bring buildings back into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, childcare, housing, arts and culture, civic engagement, or entrepreneurship.

Project Eligibility Requirements
  • Properties must be located in cities with a population fewer than 50,000.
  • Properties must be located in the downtown business district or corridor and hold architectural significance for the district.

  • Properties must show potential for reuse and revitalization as economic drivers in the community.
  • Projects submitted with supporting engineer and/or architect report(s) that verify an urgent need and opportunity for revitalization will be considered in the Emergency HEAL round between November 8 – 19. A decision on Emergency HEAL awards will be made by November 23. Construction must commence by February 1st, 2022 for Emergency HEAL projects.
  • Pro-forma and business plan for building use is required to be submitted with the application. However, if applying for Emergency HEAL, the Secretary of Commerce has discretion to extend the deadline for this requirement.
  • 1:1 match minimum must be secured no later than September 30, 2022, after receiving a notification of intention of award by the Kansas Department of Commerce. If the match is not secured by September 30th, 2022, the HEAL award will be forfeited unless an extension is granted by the Secretary of Commerce.
  • The awarded project can include funding from any state or federal source, as long as there is no duplication of benefit. Examples include: Community Development Block Grant, Community Service Tax Credit Program, USDA Rural Development, State Historic Preservation Office programs, or Network Kansas programs.
  • Award recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program.
  • Projects must be initiated and begin construction no later December 31, 2022. Projects must be complete within one year of the start of construction. 
Eligible Funding Activities

Eligible expenses include:

• professional services (architect and engineering fees)
• exterior building surfaces
• masonry
• insulation
• foundations
• roofs and guttering
• fire escapes
• windows
• doors
• chimneys
• walls
• ceilings
• floors
• stairs
• escalators and elevators
• lighting and fixtures
• electrical wiring
• data and communication
wiring (not including equipment)
• HVAC systems and components
• plumbing systems
• fire suppression sprinkler
systems.

This list is not exhaustive. Project expenses not listed here are at the discretion of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce for eligibility under the grant.

Award Amount

Up to $20 per square foot of the total building space, not to exceed $75,000 per project.

HEAL Resources

HEAL Quick Guide

What does this program do?

The Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) program offers matching grants for the revitalization of underutilized, vacant, or dilapidated downtown buildings. The grants are intended to bring buildings back into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, childcare, housing, arts and culture, civic engagement, or entrepreneurship. 

Who is eligible to apply?

• Building owners of underutilized, vacant or dilapidated downtown buildings.
• The grant application must include a local nominating organization for the project.

When is the application due?

Emergency HEAL Category

• Building is in danger of collapse.
• Application open November 8-19, 2021.
• Award decisions will be made by November 23, 2021.
• Construction must begin by February 1st, 2022.

HEAL Category

• Building is stable.
• Application open November 8 – December 20, 2021.
• Award decisions will be made by January 10, 2022.
• Projects must be initiated and start construction no later December 31, 2022 and be complete within one year of the start of construction.

What is the Award Amount?

Up to $20 per square foot of the total building space, not to exceed $75,000 per project.

What are the Eligible Funding Activities?

Eligible expenses include:

  • professional services (architect and engineering fees)
  • exterior building surfaces
  • masonry
  • insulation 
  • foundations
  • roofs and guttering
  • fire escapes
  • windows
  • doors
  • chimneys
  • walls
  • ceilings
  • floors
  • stairs
  • escalators and elevators
  • lighting and fixtures
  • electrical wiring
  • data and communication wiring (not including equipment) 
  • HVAC systems and components
  • plumbing systems
  • fire suppression sprinkler systems. 

This list is not exhaustive. Project expenses not listed here are at the discretion of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce for eligibility under the grant.

FAQ

1. Will absentee owners be eligible to apply? 

No.  The owner must be engaged in the process of rehabilitation or sell the building to the entity willing to complete the project. Building owners of underutilized, vacant or dilapidated downtown buildings in coordination with a local nominating organization are eligible. 

2. Who applies for the grant application? 

The grant application must include both the building owner and a local nominating organization.

3. Are nominating organizations required to financially contribute to the project?

No. Nominating organizations are required to help support the efforts of the building owner and the project.  These organizations will define what their level of support might be in the application but are not financially obligated to contribute to the project.

4. What is the population size of community that can apply for this grant? 

Properties must be located in cities with a population fewer than 50,000.

5. Is it beneficial, or is there added weight to my application if we are a Designated or Affiliate Main Street community? 

Yes.

6. Is my building required to be in a geographic designated area of downtown?

Properties must be in the downtown business district or connecting corridors.

7. Is the rehabilitated building required to have a viable business once completed? 

Yes.  Pro-forma/financial plan and business plan must be submitted with the application by the December 20, 2021 deadline for the project to meet eligibility requirements. The plan can be expanded upon, edited, and improved as the project develops, but the initial plan must be part of the application. 

8. If I received federal funding (ARPA, SPARK, USDA, CDBG, SHPO, etc.) can that be applied as a match? 

Yes, as long as there is no duplication of benefit.

9. If I apply, am I automatically awarded funding? 

No.  There is a team at the Department of Commerce that will score and evaluate applications based on merit, project eligibility and urgent need.  The latter will be moved to the top of the list to be reviewed.

10. What are the funding maximums?

Awards are anticipated at $20 per square foot per building space, up to $75,000, or until funds are exhausted.

11. When does the application process close? 

Emergency HEAL Category
The application is open from November 8-19, 2021. Award decisions will be made by November 23, 2021. Construction must begin by February 1st, 2022.

HEAL Category

The application is open November 8 – December 20, 2021. Award decisions will be made by January 10, 2022. Projects must begin construction no later December 31, 2022 and be complete within one year of the start of construction.

12. When will funding be awarded? 

Funding will be awarded upon completion of the following: 

  • Proof of matching funds, 
  • Business and financial plans,
  • Ability to demonstrate the project can be completed within one year of project construction.

13. What is the grant timeline?

Project must be initiated no later than October 2022; construction must begin no later than December 2022; Project must be completed no later than December 2023.

14. Can I apply for both the Emergency HEAL and the HEAL, or will my application be rolled into the HEAL program if it isn’t deemed an emergency need?

                No.  Emergency HEAL is only for projects that can strongly demonstrate that the building is highly likely to be a total loss if not for immediate intervention in the next two months.  This must be demonstrated by architectural and engineering reports that state that the structure is at a very high risk of collapse.  If this is not clearly demonstrated in the application when applying for Emergency HEAL, the application risks being not funded in either grant category.  The Emergency HEAL review process is heavily weighted based on the engineering report that must be provided in order to qualify for Emergency HEAL. 

SAMPLE Application

This sample application is intended to give potential applicants extra time to gather necessary information. Please do not submit the SAMPLE application. Online applications will open on November 8th 2021.

Main Street Design Standards

No.  Emergency HEAL is only for projects that can strongly demonstrate that the building is highly likely to be a total loss if not for immediate intervention in the next two months.  This must be demonstrated by architectural and engineering reports that state that the structure is at a very high risk of collapse.  If this is not clearly demonstrated in the application when applying for Emergency HEAL, the application risks being not funded in either grant category.  The Emergency HEAL review process is heavily weighted based on the engineering report that must be provided in order to qualify for Emergency HEAL. 

Sample Budget
Program Inquiries

HEAL is a collaboration of

Kansas Main Street
Community Service Tax Credits
Community Development Block Grants