DCA Welcomes Historic Preservation Division
The team responsible for preserving Georgia’s legacy is now housed in the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The end of the 2020 legislative session marked the transfer of the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) from the Department of Natural Resources to DCA.
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 required that every state has a historic preservation office. HPD oversees compliance of federal agencies in relation to historic resources, administers multiple economic development programs, and collaborates with key stakeholders for planning, conservation, tourism, and site protection.
“The Historic Preservation Division’s program targets, such as economic development, resource protection, local and regional planning, and downtown revitalization, are in direct alignment with DCA’s mission, vision and values,” said Christopher Nunn, commissioner. “Both agencies serve diverse needs across the state. Therefore, we are excited to welcome HPD to DCA and look forward to continuing to impact communities.”
The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) is Georgia’s state historic preservation office, or SHPO. Every state has a SHPO, as established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, often referred to simply as the NHPA. HPD has several key functions as part of the national historic preservation program. First, through the Section 106 compliance program (named for the section of the federal implementing regulations of the NHPA), HPD functions as a watchdog over federal agencies doing business in the state, helping to insure that they respect our most important historic resources. Second, we administer various economic development programs that leverage private capital to encourage business growth, especially in our many smaller towns and communities. Finally, through programs like the National Register of Historic Places, Certified Local Governments, and others, we work with partners both inside and outside state government to encourage regional and local planning, neighborhood conservation, downtown revitalization, heritage tourism and archaeological site protection.
State Historic Preservation Offices receive financial assistance through the Historic Preservation Fund of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and provides matching state funds to carry out the national historic preservation program. The National Park Service establishes broad policies, programs and standards for state and local participation in the national program. Each state then tailors its own SHPO to address the special character and needs of their state and complement the national program. In Georgia, the General Assembly authorizes or mandates a number of specific preservation programs such as a state property tax freeze, state rehabilitation grants, archaeology protection and stewardship of state-owned buildings.
The Historic Preservation Division's mission is to promote the preservation and use of historic places for a better Georgia.
Georgians will value historic places for the important roles they play in our social and economic lives. Property owners, local communities, and state agencies will possess the knowledge and the legal and financial tools to preserve their historic properties. The Historic Preservation Division will play a critical role as the state historic preservation office in increasing citizen engagement with the historic places that make the state unique including local landmarks, state historic sites, and national historic landmarks and sites. Through its education and citizen engagement programs, the Historic Preservation Division will help the Department instill a conservation ethic among Georgia citizens.