Two Restore Oregon staff members are currently in Washington D.C. for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s PastForward national preservation conference, the first in-person conference offered since the pandemic. And we are taking full advantage of the conference’s D.C. location to advance our federal legislative advocacy forward.

While we are meeting with members and staff of the Oregon Congressional delegation, would you please consider lending your advocacy support to help show that historic preservation matters to Oregonians by contacting your member of Congress?

The two most important policies we are working on in conjunction with the National Trust, Preservation Action, and other statewide preservation organizations include:

  1. Federal Historic Tax Credits – each chamber has introduced a bill to improve the federal tax credit program. Called “HTC-GO,” this legislation is meant to improve the existing program to make it more accessible to smaller projects (meaning greater impact potential to all communities in Oregon), easier for nonprofits to take advantage of (especially affordable housing development groups), and more more appealing to developers by increasing the value of the credit. What’s not to like about that? Restore Oregon is a member of Preservation Action, which has lots of good information to share about this effort.

Action Needed Now: Please encourage your Member of Congress to co-sponsor the bipartisan Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (H.R. 1785, S. 639) and look for opportunities to include these provisions in future tax legislation. Representative Earl Blumenauer co-introduced HR 1784 as he chairs the Preservation Caucus, but no other Members have signed on yet.Let’s try to change that! 

  1. Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) - this is what funds historic preservation at the federal level! Please explore this informational page developed by the National Trust to see how important it is to accomplish two things this year:
    1. Reauthorize the program 
    2. Appropriate funding to the program in the annual budgeting process.

And, here’s a recent update from Shaw Sprague, VP of Government Relations at the National Trust for Historic Preservation: 

Despite the legislative challenges that lie ahead, now is a good time to demonstrate how coming together to preserve our local histories benefits us all. There is never a bad time to deliver the message that federal support of efforts to preserve history is having a positive impact in your communities. By mid-November Congress will need to act to fund the government, and preservationists will have a great opportunity to make an impact. We hope you’ll join us!


Authorization for the Historic Preservation Fund Expires

On September 30, the Congressional authorization for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) expired without a renewal or extension.

The HPF is the principal funding source to implement the nation’s historic preservation programs and has enjoyed bipartisan support on Capitol Hill since its inception over four decades ago.

In addition to requiring an annual appropriation for its funding, the HPF also needs to be reauthorized every five to seven years.

The longer the HPF remains unauthorized, the more uncertainty it causes for everyone that relies on this funding.

It also undermines the longstanding commitment of Congress to the preservation of our historic resources.

The Historic Preservation Fund Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3350) would reauthorize the HPF for ten years and increase its authorization from $150 to $250 million annually.

Enacting this legislation will significantly enhance the protection of our nation’s historic resources, ensuring they remain vibrant for communities throughout the country well into the future. 

Action Needed Now: Take action now by encouraging your members of Congress to cosponsor this legislation today!