Preservation Funding Passes the U.S. House of Representatives, Is Still Pending in the Senate

Many thanks to everyone who contacted their Representative in Congress in support of the CLEAR Act, which included full funding for the Historic Preservation Fund – it passed the House!

As the National Trust for Historic Preservation explains, the CLEAR Act is a bill to address offshore oil and gas reforms following the oil well blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico. It contains a provision to fully fund the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) at $150 million. Not since its inception in 1976 has the HPF received full funding to carry out the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act. Imagine the great work the preservation movement could accomplish with full funding of $150 million each year!

We are grateful to Congressman Charles Melancon, District 3, who was the only Louisiana Representative who voted for the bill. Obviously we have some more advocating to do with the rest of the Louisiana delegation, but I feel sure that once they realize the economic impact of preservation programs in their districts, and once they learn how many of their constituents care, we will get them to support preservation in the future.

It is going to be more of an uphill struggle to get the HPF through the Senate, but now we have more time, since the Senate adjourned without hearing the Senate version of the bill (which did not include the HPF). A national coalition is working on a strategy to get Senate bill S 2663 amended in the fall to include the HPF. That coalition includes us! We need to convince senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu to show some leadership on this issue, since preservation funding is so important in Louisiana. Surely they will want to take advantage of our ongoing economic impact through preservation programs, for example being #1 nationally in 2009 for amount of rehabilitation credit investment in construction projects.

Note: If you vote in another state, your advocacy is still important! Your senator might be critical for the passage of this bill.

Meanwhile, please write a simple letter or email to your two senators urging them to support an amendment to S 2663 that would include full funding for the HPF.

We will keep you posted – thanks again!

Sincerely,

Patricia H. Gay

Executive Director

MEDIA CONTACT: Lynn Long / L2Media & Marketing (504.669.0576 / L2Media@cox.net)

The Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans (PRC) was founded in 1974 as a non-profit organization to promote the preservation, restoration and revitalization of New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods. The organization has helped renovate more than 1,200 homes citywide by involving citizens in preservation projects and services that enhance living in New Orleans. PRC provides resources and education to convey the economic, cultural and aesthetic importance of historic preservation in New Orleans and throughout the world. For more information about the PRC’s hurricane recovery efforts, including the homeowner assistance program, call 504.581.7032 or visit www.prcno.org.