Cost Share Grants

Cost Share Grants

The 2024-2025 Survey and Planning Cost Share Program Request for Applications is now available.

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DHR’s Survey and Planning Cost Share Grant Program assists local governments in meeting their preservation planning goals through the identification of historic resources. Participating localities receive partial funding and administrative support towards a preservation planning project developed in collaboration with DHR staff. Annual funding for Cost Share is limited and localities must compete to participate in the program. The cost share program was launched in 1991, with over 120 localities participating to date. 

What type of projects does the Cost Share program support?  

The Cost Share program supports survey of historic resources, completion of survey reports or management summaries, preparation of Preliminary Information Forms and National Register of Historic Places nominations, and the development of preservation planning documents. Cost Share does not fund projects on privately owned properties, historic rehabilitation work, or design review guidelines.

How does the Cost Share program work? 

The Cost Share program is open to any local government or planning district commision (PDC) in Virginia. A locality or PDC competes to participate in the program by submitting an application outlining a historic resource identification and/or preservation planning project proposal. Prior to submitting an application, a locality or PDC must participate in a project planning meeting with department staff and be prepared to show evidence of community support for the proposed project. If selected for funding, DHR will match the amount of money the locality or PDC is willing to commit for the project. In most cases, the local government provides at least one half of the cash for a project but DHR will entertain all applications, regardless of the match amount offered. DHR staff will assume the administrative burden of selected applications by hiring a qualified consultant to execute the project and monitoring the project through our field offices to ensure that project deliverables meet the expectations of the locality or PDC and the department.

How does the Cost Share program assist local governments?

The Code of Virginia directs each jurisdiction to develop a comprehensive plan and to update it every five years. Additional legislation calls for each locality to incorporate cultural resources into its comprehensive plans. Survey of historic architecture and archaeology completed under Cost Share can establish or strengthen local historic resource inventories to support local preservation planning programs. Other common cost share project deliverables, including survey reports, Preliminary Information Forms, and National Register of Historic Places nominations, provide copyright-free information for educational outreach, can be critical tools in developing heritage tourism, and enable owners of historic properties the opportunity to pursue state and federal historic preservation tax credits. 

Cost share funds can be used to identify and manage historic resources through a variety of project types. Recent cost share projects include: 

Berkleytown Survey and Historic District Nomination

Berkleytown is an African American community located in the Town of Ashland that developed in response to a 1911 segregation ordinance restricting African American property ownership. DHR awarded the Town of Ashland cost share funds to nominate the Berkleytown Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places. The project included a survey of resources in the historic district boundary and public meetings to engage Berkleytown residents in the nomination process. 

Fairfax County Midcentury Modern Survey

After World War II, Fairfax County’s population quintupled in 30 years. This expansion resulted in new neighborhoods, schools, commercial venues, and office space. As a result, Fairfax County is home to a high concentration of modern architecture dating to the 1950s-1980s. DHR awarded Fairfax County cost share funds to survey eight potential historic districts and 143 individual properties representing midcentury modern design trends. The findings of the survey were detailed in a survey report including a historic context outlining the county’s twentieth century development and recommendations for additional preservation projects. 

Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Strategic Plan


The City of Virginia Beach’s received cost share funds to update the City’s 1994 preservation plan. The 2023 Historic Preservation Strategic Plan draws upon recommendations from recent historic resource surveys and public engagement including multiple informational meetings, targeted stakeholder interviews, and an input survey with over 700 responses. The plan provides the city with roadmap of ideas, goals, recommendations and action steps that will inform historic resources management and outline strategies for addressing the threats to those resources. 

Shipman Architectural Survey and Preliminary Information Form

The Shipman community in Nelson County consists of historic commercial and residential resources dating from late 1800s through the first half of the 20th century. Located along the north-south tracks of the Southern Railway, Shipman developed as the primary transportation hub for travel and the shipment of goods to and from Nelson County. DHR awarded the Nelson County cost share funds to survey Shipman's historic resources and prepare a Preliminary Information Form to determine the National Register of Historic Places eligibility of the proposed Shipman Historic District. 

Fauquier County African American Historic Resources Multiple Property Document

Fauquier County contains numerous historic African American communities containing churches, schools, fraternal organizations, and commercial spaces. DHR awarded Fauquier County cost share funds to prepare a Multiple Property Document to streamline the National Register of Historic Places listing of historic resources associated with African American settlement in the county. The project used the findings of a cost share-funded countywide African American historic resource survey to develop the Multiple Property Document’s registration requirements.

Blake McDonald
Survey & Grants Specialist