The Halifax Regional Municipality offers property owners two funding programs to assist with the cost of maintaining municipally registered heritage properties. You can apply for funding through the Heritage Incentives Program or the Community Grants Program.
Heritage Incentives Program
The Heritage Incentives Program provides matching grants of up to $15,000 for residential properties and $25,000 for commercial properties to complete exterior conservation work on a heritage property.
For your property to be eligible it must be:
- a municipally registered heritage property
- used for residential or commercial purposes
A complete overview of the program’s requirements and eligible work can be found in Regional Council’s Administrative Order.
In summary, the following items are not eligible for funding:
• Work started before an application is made
• Work that has not received Heritage Alteration Approval from staff
• Work that uses modern building materials (e.g., vinyl or aluminum windows, steel door, vinyl siding, Exterior Insulation Finishing System cladding, etc.)
• Properties under investigation or prosecution for Land-use, Building or Fire Code, or Heritage Property Act violations, subject to an Order to Comply, or with liens or taxes outstanding
When is the deadline?
Applications are accepted between September 1 and December 1 of each year.
What do I need to apply for the Heritage Incentives Program?
To apply for this program, submit a completed application form [PDF] along with the following supporting documentation.
- recent photographs of all sides of the building, with attention taken to the areas of work for which the grant is applied
- a minimum of two contractors cost estimates for the proposed work
- Building Conservation Plan (optional)
- Heritage Alteration Approval to ensure municipal heritage conservation standards and guidelines are met (applicants are encouraged to seek this approval from staff before submitting a grant application, though staff can review grant applications and proposed alterations concurrently)
If your building is governed by a condominium by-law, you must also provide a copy of the board of directors’ minutes approving the submission of the application. You may also require building permits, depending on the project.
How do I apply?
You may submit the above documents by email or mail to the Heritage Property Program.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesse Morton, Heritage Property Program
Planning & Development
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3A 3J5
Please note: email applications are preferred due to ongoing COVID-19 protocol. If you cannot email or mail your application, please arrange a time to deliver your application in-person (40 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth).
How are applications prioritized?
The Heritage Incentives Program evaluates all applications, but generally looks at the following criteria:
- Preference will be given to first-time applicants.
- Higher priority will be given to preservation and restoration of historic structural and weather-proofing elements than to cosmetic improvements. The restoration of cladding, windows, doors, or roof has greater priority than painting.
- Preference is given to restoration of publicly visible features. For example, restoration of a front porch would have higher priority than a rear porch.
- Balance is sought between applications from different geographic regions of the municipality
- Preference is given to applications supported by a Building Conservation Plan prepared by an architect, building inspector, engineer, or other qualified restoration professional. The plan may be a drawing or a report which reasonably illustrates work required for the building.
Who do I contact with questions about the Heritage Incentives Program?
Planner II - Heritage
Provincial and federal funding for heritage properties
In addition to the municipally funded Heritage Incentives Program, you can find financial support for your project at the provincial and federal level.
The Province of Nova Scotia operates several programs to help owners with the cost of maintaining registered heritage properties.
The National Trust for Canada offers a program called This Place Matters to help community organizations crowd fund to restore or adaptively re-use special heritage places.