Application guide

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VI. Eligible Costs

This section provides rules and examples of acquisition costs, pre-construction costs, and construction costs for enhancement or restoration projects. Only direct costs are eligible in the HCF Program.
acquisition costs

The following provide examples of eligible costs for acquisition.


(Up to 100% of grant and match amounts)


Purchase price of the property and other activities necessary to complete the acquisition.

  • Appraisals, surveys

  • Preliminary title reports

  • Title Insurance fees

  • Escrow fees and purchase price

  • Relocation costs: costs resulting in displacement of tenants (not willing sellers or grantees) pursuant to Government Code §§7260 – 7277.

  • project/grant administration and accounting
  • Deed Restriction: costs related to creating and recording the Deed Restriction. For enhancement, restoration, or development projects where the project site is owned in fee simple by the grantee, the Deed Restriction is required before any payment is approved for construction costs (see grant Administration Guide).

Pre-Construction Costs

Pre-construction is the phase that includes planning, design, construction documents, and permits necessary before construction can begin. No more than 25% of the grant and match amounts combined may be spent on pre-construction costs.

For the purpose of the grant, pre-construction costs occur:

  • during the planning, design, and permit phase of the project, before construction can begin, and

  • end when ground-breaking construction activities such as site preparation, grading, or gutting begins.

Pre-Construction Costs

(Maximum 25% of grant and match amounts)


Costs incurred during the planning, design, and permit phase of the project, before construction begins.

  • Public meetings/focus groups/design workshop costs

  • Plans, specifications, construction documents, and cost estimates

  • Permits

  • Insurance: Premiums on hazard and liability insurance to cover personnel or property

  • Bid packages
  • project/grant administration (excluding grant writing) and accounting.

  • Conservation Corps costs

construction costsenhancement or restoration projects

Construction costs start when:

  • ground-breaking construction activities such as site preparation, grading, or gutting begins after the necessary pre-construction phase has concluded.

Construction COSTS


Costs incurred during the construction phase of the project when ground-breaking construction activities such as site preparation, grading, or gutting begins.

  • Site preparation, grading, gutting

  • Foundation work

  • Purchase and installation of permanent equipment: benches, signs, display boards, etc.

  • Construction supplies and materials: may be drawn from central stock if claimed costs are no higher than supplies or materials purchased elsewhere.
  • Equipment (the cost of equipment or vehicle(s) currently owned by the grantee): such equipment or vehicle(s) may be charged to the grant for each use. applicant or grantee shall provide a log that describes the activities conducted and the time that the equipment or vehicle is used, as related to the grant scope. The log must be signed by the operator or supervisor. applicant or grantee shall provide this log as part of the documentation for a reimbursement payment request.

  • applicant or grantee may also rent or purchase the equipment or vehicle(s), whichever is the most economical use of grant funds.

  • Purchased equipment or vehicle(s): if the equipment is purchased, its residual market value shall be credited to the project costs upon completion.

  • Residual market value determination: to determine residual market value, applicant or grantee may consult recognized industry guides for used vehicles such as the “Kelly Blue Book” or a local used vehicle dealer in order to establish a resale price.

  • Construction management: including site inspections, labor compliance process

  • project/grant administration and accounting

  • Miscellaneous costs: other costs incurred during the construction phase, such as transporting materials, equipment, personnel, and communications

  • Conservation Corps costs

Ineligible costs

Ineligible Costs


Cannot be charged to the grant.
  • Outside the grant performance period - costs incurred before or after the grant performance period

  • Costs associated with CEQA documents prepared prior to application due date

  • Costs associated with master plan development

  • Indirect costs – overhead business expenses of the grantee’s fixed or ordinary operating costs (rent, mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, supplies)

  • Food and beverages

  • Fundraising

  • Grant writing

  • Site maintenance costs

  • Out-of-state travel

  • Projects arising from a mitigation ruling affecting another location

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