77th Annual Meeting

CALLING FOR EXPANDED INITIATIVES TO ASSIST IN THE PRESERVATION AND RETRO-FIT OF HISTORIC PROPERTIES

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has addressed historic preservation issues in earlier policy statements through support of: 1) Historic Homeownership Assistance Act (1998), 2) Conservation Trust Fund (2003), 3) Historic Homeownership Rehabilitation Tax Credit (2007), 4) Historic Preservation Tax Credit (2007), 5) Preserve America Act (2007); and

WHEREAS, historic preservation should be a strong component of sustainable growth strategies of all cities; and

WHEREAS, the sustainability practices associated with historic preservation can provide for more informed policies on sustainable urban design and plan implementation; and

WHEREAS, smart growth strategies centered around the directives of reuse, reinvest, and retro-fit can improve the quality of life for our city's built environment; and

WHEREAS, Historical properties can make or break an entire neighborhood of our cities. Those public properties in a good state of repair can add historical significance and charm to a community allowing for a tangible link to the past from which to learn from as well as build upon. Alternatively, these same assets in good repair can become major liabilities in a state of decay - standing as dangerous nuisances attracting crime and reducing the property values of neighboring structures; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Government has enacted multiple programs that provide resources for historic preservation in the form of tax credits and grant programs such as the "Save America's Treasures" grant; and

WHEREAS, cities are increasingly having to bare the majority costs of rehabilitating, retro-fitting, and preserving historic properties; and

WHEREAS, many times this cost involves the city taking-on ownership and/or management of an historic property's mortgage; and

WHEREAS, historic properties are not immune to the foreclosure crisis currently gripping the nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors calls upon the U.S. Congress to pass historic preservation provisions that allow for funds to be directly allocated to cities for the energy efficiency retrofit of public historic properties providing up to 120 percent of costs associated with that activity; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Congress appropriate no less than $120 million for the Historic Preservation Fund in FY2010 including no less than $50 million for the "Save America's Treasures" Grant.