Emergency HEAL Program: $500K Available to Rescue Rural Downtown Buildings

By Trish Svoboda

Today, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced the availability of $500,000 through the Emergency Response Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (Emergency HEAL) program. This funding aims to take rural downtown buildings facing demolition or collapse and transform them into commercial spaces.

“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.”

Projects eligible for Emergency HEAL include buildings facing imminent loss, those posing a threat to surrounding downtown structures, and those with substantial damage from a disaster. The grant will be open on an annual basis, offering a maximum award of $100,000 per community. Communities may use the funding to rescue multiple buildings if necessary. Matching funds (1:1) are mandatory for participation.

Projects submitted must demonstrate that recent damage has created a requirement that requires immediate repair, or that the building could be lost. Communities are also granted a one-year timeframe to complete the building repairs and secure a tenant.

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