By Frank Leone
The DC City Council has expanded its Historic Home Grant program to include Foggy Bottom and increase the available amount from $25,000 to $50,000. Previously, only 15 locations, not including Foggy Bottom, were eligible for the grants. The grants are now available for all historic landmarks and qualifying (i.e. contributing) houses in all DC historic districts.
Here are some excerpts from the DC Office of Planning Historic Homeowner Grant updated webpage:
The District of Columbia offers financial assistance to low- and moderate-income homeowners to help with the cost of repairing their historic homes. Homeowner Grants are available to income-qualifying homeowners (total household income less than 120% of the area median income (AMI)). The grants may be used for exterior and structural renovations, restorations, and repairs of historic houses. Project priority is determined using criteria that measure the benefits to historic preservation and the community. Grant awards are subject to available funding and qualify as non-taxable income.
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis with preference given to restoration of major exterior architectural features and structural repairs, such as:
Reconstruction of missing exterior ornaments and components
Repair of original front windows and doors
Repair or reconstruction of front porches and stairs
Replacement of non-historic windows and doors with historic materials and styles
Repair, replacement and painting of wood siding and trim
Repair and replacement of visibly prominent roofs
The only interior item that can be considered is a major structural repair. Grants cannot be provided for heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, interior finishes, or new additions.
These grants are a great opportunity for those in the Foggy Bottom Historic District to restore and improve their row house! The OP website provides some examples with before and after renovation photos. The expanded program became effective October 1, 2023, but updated guidance was not provided until now. The provision is included in the DC FY2024 Budget Support Act, Title II, Subtitle P.