Historic Preservation Fund

The Historic Preservation Fund Program is designed to provide owners of historic properties with financial assistance for the rehabilitation and preservation of the exterior architectural features of their property. More information and eligibility requirements can be found in our online program guide. 

City of Iowa City Housing Rehabilitation

For housing rehabilitation, the city offers zero to low-interest loans for home improvements including, but not limited to: roofing, windows, siding, foundation work, heating, electrical and plumbing, radon mitigation, insulation, grab bars, and ramps for income-eligible households. Improvements needed due to historic preservation requirements are eligible.  Rehabilitation in targeted neighborhoods is eligible for a 50% grant. 

For more information and how to apply, visit icgov.org/housingrehab.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Historic preservation projects may be eligible for TIF funding via district wide TIF, to incentivize historic renovation projects that may not add enough taxable value to rely solely on the subject property’s increment.

Properties designated contributing may be eligible for tax increment financing and any redevelopment of contributing properties should preserve and enhance the historic character of the block.

New construction requiring the demolition of structures on the National Register of Historic Places, or those identified as individually eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or those identified as key properties are not eligible for tax increment financing. All rehabilitation to these structures shall be done in such a manner as to preserve or restore any historic structure to productive use.

Additions to buildings on the National Register of Historic Places or those that are individually eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or are key properties shall be developed in such a manner as to be architecturally compatible with existing development. 

TIF-supported projects downtown must help fulfill the overall vision of the downtown portion of the Downtown and Riverfront Crossings Plan, “to preserve and enhance the historic buildings and character of Downtown, while encouraging appropriate infill redevelopment with a mix of building uses.” (p. 18, Downtown and Riverfront Crossings Master Plan.)

For more information on Economic Development policies, view our digital document, or contact Wendy Ford, Economic Development Coordinator at 319-356-5248.

Flexibility from Zoning Regulations

To help preserve the historical, aesthetic, or cultural attributes of a property, waivers or modifications to dimensional and site development standards, including parking, may be considered by the Board of Adjustment through the special exception process. Special exceptions may also be considered for the reuse of historic properties to certain uses not typically allowed in the zone.

For more information, please contact the City of Iowa City, Department of Neighborhood and Development Services at 319-356-5230.

Other Preservation Resources

Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program

Iowa’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program offers tax credits to developers who reuse and rehabilitate historic buildings. Iowa offers this tax credit program to ensure character-defining features and spaces of buildings are retained to help create distinct and vibrant communities.

For more information and how to apply at the Iowa Economic Development website. 

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program

The Federal Historic Preservation encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings through providing tax benefits to those eligible. A tax credit is available for the rehabilitation of income-producing buildings.

More information can be found at the Department of the Interior's website. 

Johnson County Historic Property Rehabilitation Tax Exemption

A  property tax exemption can be approved by the County Board of Supervisors for a project completing a substantial rehabilitation tax credit project with the State program. The exemption is for the tax assessed on any increased value of the property following rehabilitation for four years. The tax is phased in over the following three years.

More information can be found at the Iowa Department of Revenue's website. 


City Government