Owners of older buildings in unincorporated Lee County may be able to obtain funds to fix up their old, historic structures under the Lee County Historic Preservation Grant Assistance Program. Budget permitting, the program makes available approximately $50,000 in rehabilitation grant funds per year. The average grant award is for $5,000. However, grants have been awarded for as much as $25,000 and as little as $800.
If funding is available, applications are normally submitted from mid-October through mid-December.
Lee County’s historic resources are major contributors to the quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors. The purpose of the program is to help preserve these resources because they are valuable, contribute to neighborhood preservation and urban revitalization, are part of our area’s rural character, enhance our sceneries, and help give our county its identity and special sense of place.
To qualify for participation in this program, a building must be about 50 years old and designated or qualify for designation under the Lee County Land Development Code Chapter 22, Historic Preservation. The structure must be located in unincorporated Lee County. Buildings located in the city limits of Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel DO NOT QUALIFY.
The criteria used to evaluate an application include:
- 1. Percentage of total project cost to be funded by the grant and percentage to be funded by the applicant;
- 2. Age and historical significance of the property;
- 3. Condition and degree of endangerment of the property (i.e., urgency of the project);
- 4. Project planning and plans for future preservation.
To download an application, go to www.leegov.com/dcd/applications. For details or to obtain a printed application, contact the Lee County Planning Division: call (239) 533-8311; FAX (239) 485-8344; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; write to P.O. Box 398, Fort Myers, FL 3902-0398; or visit the second floor of the Lee County Community Development and Public Works Building, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers.
Learn more about historic preservation at www.leegov.com/dcd/historicpreservation.