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Preservation Incentives

Preservation is environmentally, economically, socially, and culturally sustainable. If that is not incentive enough, several federal, state, and local programs offer financial and zoning incentives to encourage preservation.

Preservation:

  • Protects and Increases Property Value
  • Manages Growth and Change
  • Protects Community Identity
  • Fulfills City Sustainability Goals (visit our Sustainability and Preservation page to learn more)

Tax Incentives

Visit the National Park Service's Technical Preservation Services page to learn more about Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives. The program provides a 10% or 20% tax credit for the rehabilitation of qualifying properties. To discuss your project and obtain an application and instructions for the Investment Tax Credit program, contact the Tennessee Historical Commission. 

Qualifying properties are eligible to donate a historic preservation easement to Historic Nashville, Inc. An easement is a voluntary legal agreement in which a property owner grants the rights to their property's facade in exchange for a one-time tax deduction.

Tax credits are often available for home envelope improvements related to insulation, water heaters, and certain high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. Nashville Electric Service (NES) offers several energy incentive programs for qualifying energy efficient upgrades.

Metro Government provides property tax assistance for persons over the age of 65, the disabled, and veterans. Contact the Office of the Trustee for information about property tax relief, exemption, and freeze programs.

Grants and Loans

The National Trust Preservation Fund offers several types of financial assistance to nonprofit organizations, public agencies, for-profit companies, and individuals involved in preservation-related activities. 

Through the Tennessee Historical Commission, our State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the Federal government offers historic preservation matching grants for projects such as historic resource surveys, preservation planning, and National Register of Historic Places nominations. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has a flexible rehabilitation and repair loan program that helps developers, investors, and families at all income levels to buy and restore properties in urban and rural historic districts. 

The National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC) makes equity investments in the rehabilitation of historic properties eligible for the federal Historic, Low-Income Housing, and New Markets Tax Credits. NTCIC works with a wide variety of property owners including for-profit developers, nonprofit organizations and local governments.

Zoning

Through Transfer of Development Rights, historic properties in the downtown area may transfer, through sale or donation, a property's unused development rights to an area intended for higher-intensity development. For more information, see Section 17.12.120 of the Code of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.

Rental income can assist with the maintenance or rehabilitation of an historic home. Detached Accessory Dwelling Units are allowed in historic zoning overlays that are zoned R80-R6, RM2-RM20-A, RM40-RM100A, OR20-OR40A, and ORI-ORI-A. 

Rehab Assistance

Rebuilding Together Nashville offers free home repairs for qualifying home owners.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville restores historic homes for families in need. The Habitat ReStore is a great resource for affordable salvaged and new materials.

Through the Preserve Loan Program, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency assists low- and moderate-income homeowners to make necessary home repairs with a low-cost loan program.