In general, these reports demonstrate that the federal historic preservation program works to the benefit of the American people and the agencies that manage it. The recommendations provided below are clearly achievable and can further advance the stewardship of historic properties. They also recognize the potential benefit to communities nationwide of using the diverse federally owned and managed historic properties in their midst as part of strategies for sustainable local economic development. The ACHP has identified the following findings, which are accompanied by recommendations on specific actions the ACHP and others can take to resolve them.
Leasing historic federal buildings to nonfederal partners promotes their productive use and contribution to local economies, often increasing public access and even transferring maintenance and capital improvement costs to partners in certain circumstances. However, outleasing programs remain small due to inconsistencies among federal agencies in their scope and application, conflicting policies and priorities, limited awareness of these programs, and local economic conditions affecting the availability of partners. The ACHP made a specific finding in its 2018 report that directly related to fostering and encouraging the reuse of historic facilities by federal agencies, or others, to create cost- effective preservation outcomes, which resulted in the convening of the LWG in 2019. The outcomes of the LWG indicate to the ACHP the need to continue supporting a finding that outleasing remains an effective but underutilized solution to protect and use federal historic properties. To that end, the ACHP makes the following recommendations.
›› The ACHP should work with GSA to leverage the expertise and resources of existing GSA programs, such as GSA’s Office of Real Property Utilization and Disposal, to assist federal agencies in leasing vacant and underutilized historic buildings to prospective nonfederal tenants. The ACHP should work with GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy and the Federal Real Property Council to identify how best to centralize and make accessible pertinent data concerning federal historic real property that may be available for nonfederal use. ›› The ACHP should advocate for revisions to the National Strategy for the Efficient Use of Real Property ( formerly known as “Reduce the Footprint”) and federal budget scoring policies, and in collaboration with other land-managing agencies, the ACHP should engage the Office of Management and Budget and recommend federal historic outleases count toward agency strategy goals, thereby removing a significant impediment to federal historic building outleasing. ›› With LWG member agencies, the ACHP should pursue the issuance of an EO to encourage adaptive use of historic federal buildings via outleasing.
IN A SPIRIT OF STEWARDSHIP: A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2021 | 59
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