A key advocacy ask of the National Trust and other partner organizations each year is robust funding for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). In the FY23 omnibus appropriations package passed on December 23, the HPF received a significant funding increase, reaching $204.5 million for the first time in the history of the program—a remarkable 18 percent increase over last year’s enacted funding level.
This funding includes much-needed increases for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO/THPO). SHPOs will receive $62.15 million, which alleviates any funding decreases for certain states as a result of the recently updated apportionment formula and ensures that SHPO offices will not receive less funding in FY 2023. THPOs saw a much-needed increase in funding as well, receiving a 44 percent increase over last year’s enacted levels, for a total of $23 million.
Several important HPF grant programs which help tell a more diverse American story also saw welcomed funding increases. The Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant Program received a 25 percent increase, the African American Civil Rights Grant saw a 15 percent increase and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant also received a 10 percent increase.
In early December, the National Trust led a letter with several preservation partners to Senate and House appropriators urging support of $191 million for the Historic Preservation Fund. We greatly appreciate our champions on the Hill for advocating for much needed HPF funding, especially retiring Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who has long been one of historic preservation’s strongest supporters in Washington.