Facility Hardship Program

The Facility Hardship program assists districts with funding when it has been determined that the district has a critical need for pupil housing because the condition of the facilities, or the lack of facilities, presents an imminent threat to the health and safety of the pupils.

Facility Hardship Program - Frequently Asked Questions

The School Facility Program Handbook (PDF) contains detailed information on Facility Hardship program eligibility and funding in Section 11. Also available is a printable Facility Hardship brochure (PDF), and Facility Hardship Example Documentation (PDF).
See all Facility Hardship program forms (link).



The Two Types of Facility Hardship Projects

Based on the Current Replacement Cost, as defined in School Facility Program Regulation Section 1859.2:


Cost to mitigate the health and safety threat is greater than 50 percent of the cost of replacement.


Cost to mitigate the health and safety threat is less than 50 percent of the cost of replacement.


To be eligible for a facility hardship grant the district must demonstrate that one of two conditions exists: facilities must be repaired/replaced due to an imminent health and safety threat, or existing facilities have been lost to fire, flood, earthquake or other disaster.

If the request is for replacement of facilities, the district must prepare a cost/benefit analysis for submittal to the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC). The cost/benefit analysis must indicate that the total cost to remain mitigate the health and safety issue(s) and remain in the classroom or related facility is greater than 50 percent of the Current Replacement Cost - as defined in School Facility Program Regulations Section 1859.2. If the request includes structural and/or seismic deficiencies, the cost/benefit analysis must also include a report from a licensed design professional identifying the minimum work necessary to obtain approval from the Division of the State Architect (DSA) and a detailed cost estimate of the repairs. The report and cost estimate are subject to review by the OPSC for concurrence with the Saylor Current Construction Cost Publication and, at the OPSC’s discretion, the DSA.

If the cost/benefit analysis demonstrates that the cost to remain in the classroom or related facility is less than 50 percent of the Current Replacement Cost, then the district may be eligible for the Excessive Cost Hardship Grant or a grant not to exceed 50 percent of the cost estimate that has been reviewed and approved by the OPSC and approved by the board for seismic rehabilitation. For further information on Seismic Mitigation, please see the Seismic Mitigation Program (link) information under the Programs and Services Section, or contact one of the staff listed below.


To prepare a complete facility hardship request, the district may use the Facility Hardship Request sheet as a guide. Districts are also encouraged to contact the Facility Hardship Team at the OPSC to discuss the request/concern prior to commencing any work, demolition or repair.

There are two ways that a district can submit a Facility Hardship Program grant request:

If the district has a basic idea of what needs to be replaced/rehabilitated but does not have DSA approved plans and specifications, they can apply for a conceptual approval. Through this process, the district will learn whether or not the project qualifies for funding under the Facility Hardship Program. To apply, the district must submit the documents for a conceptual approval (PDF) request to the OPSC for review and then to the State Allocation Board (SAB) for approval. Neither bond authority nor a place in line on the unfunded list is reserved for approved conceptual applications. After a conceptual approval, the district will have 18 months to submit a full funding application (24 months for site acquisition projects).

A full funding application can be submitted with or without first obtaining a conceptual approval but must include all the components of a conceptual approval, as well as the documents required for a full funding application (PDF). After being processed by the OPSC, the full funding application will be presented to the SAB for approval.

The Architect’s Submittal Guidelines (PDF) and the Presentation on Additional Grant for Site Development Costs (PPT) contain detailed information for school districts and architects to prepare project plans, specifications, and cost estimates for project applications.


Please note: Facility Hardship projects may be subject to Prevailing Wage Monitoring/Labor Compliance Program requirements (link).

Fiscal Reporting

The SFP Compliance Review page contains detailed information on compliance review requirements, including substantial progress and expenditure reporting.

The Financial Hardship Program (link) provides funding to districts that cannot provide all or a part of the required local matching share for a Facility Hardship project.


For assistance, please contact: