Certified Local Government Program

What is a Certified Local Government?

Certified Local Governments (CLG) are municipalities that have demonstrated, through a certification process, a commitment to local preservation and saving the past for future generations. This commitment is key to America’s ability to preserve, protect, and increase awareness of our unique cultural heritage found in the built environment across the country. The CLG program was federally mandated as part of an amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and is administered by the National Park Service.

Partnership between Local, State and Federal governments provides the opportunity to help preserve, protect, and increase awareness of our unique cultural heritage, helping communities save their irreplaceable historic resources.

What are the Requirements to Be a Certified Local Government?

CLGs must meet the following minimum goals:

  • Establish a qualified historic preservation commission.

  • Enforce appropriate State or local legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties. In most cases this is done in the form of a local ordinance.

  • Maintain a system for the survey and inventory of local historic resources.

  • Facilitate public participation in the local preservation, including participation in the National Register listing process.

  • Follow additional requirements outlined in the State's CLG Procedures. Each state has Procedures for Certification that may establish additional requirements for becoming a CLG in that State.

What are the Benefits of Being a Certified Local Government?

Once certified, CLGs become an active partner in the Federal Historic Preservation Program. Each community gains access to benefits of the program:

  • Funding: States receive annual appropriations from the Federal Historic Preservation Fund. States are required to give at least 10% of their funding to CLGs as subgrants. These grants can fund a wide variety of projects including: surveys, National Register nominations, rehabilitation work, design guidelines, educational programs, training, structural assessments, and feasibility studies, to name a few.

  • Technical Assistance: As a CLG, communities have direct access to SHPO staff for assistance with their commission, building assessments, surveys and nominations, and general preservation assistance. State staff and NPS offer regular training for CLGs as well, an added benefit of the partnership. Each SHPO has a designated CLG Coordinator.

  • Sustainability: Historic preservation has proven economic, environmental, and social benefits. Studies show that historic districts maintain higher property values, less population decline, more walkability and greater sense of community.

Last updated: October 6, 2021