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Emergency HEAL Grants Available to Stabilize Rural Downtown Buildings

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By the Kansas Department of Commerce

 

TOPEKA, Kan. – Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced on Feb. 1 that $500,000 will be available under the Emergency Response Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (Emergency HEAL) program to bring rural downtown buildings back from likely demolition or collapse and rehabilitate them into productive commercial use.

Emergency HEAL was created to provide a resource to address sudden and urgent needs of communities when disaster strikes. 

“We have seen too many communities lose beautiful historic buildings after extreme wind events, floods or fires when there weren’t adequate resources available to prevent their demolition,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “This program will help provide rapid funding to save these structures so they can once again contribute to the retail and service economies of rural Kansas communities.”

Buildings that are at risk of imminent loss, that are causing damage to surrounding downtown buildings, and/or have significant damage due to a disaster event are eligible projects for Emergency HEAL. The grant will be open annually, with a maximum of $100,000 award per community. Communities are allowed to use the funding to help save more than one building if needed. Matching funds (1:1) are required. 

Submitted projects must show that recent damage has caused an urgent need for immediate repair or the building could be lost. In addition, the community has one year to repair the building and identify a tenant.

Once stabilized, Emergency HEAL grants help bring downtown buildings back into productive use as spaces for: 

  • Businesses (existing or new)
  • Housing
  • Arts and culture
  • Childcare
  • Entrepreneurship or innovation

The application period will open February 9 and close June 1, or until funding is exhausted. A new round will open July 1, 2024, and close June 1, 2025.  

A virtual webinar about the specifics of the program is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Thursday, February 8. Registration is required. Interested organizations and building owners can register here.

For additional information about Emergency HEAL, the online application or the webinar, click here.