Affordable housing and community development stakeholders continue to urge the federal government to enact guard rails and commit to transparency as the rules for implementing Opportunity Zones are finalized. PolicyLink recently released Recommendations for Opportunity Zones: Leveraging Private Investment for Equitable Economic Development, which offers steps that a diverse range of stakeholders can take to ensure that Opportunity Zones experience equitable growth. An article in NextCity recently explored the potential benefits and challenges of Opportunity Zones, and highlighted the need for policymakers in the federal government to help ensure the tax incentive meets its intended goal and prevents displacement of low-income residents and businesses. At the start of the summer, Enterprise CEO Terri Ludwig highlighted the need for Opportunity Fund investments to be transparent and accountable to community needs in testimony before the Joint Economic Committee on The Promise of Opportunity Zones. The IRS released Frequently Asked Questions on Opportunity Zones in both April and June, and additional guidance is anticipated before the end of 2018. However, the uncertainty about both timing and items needing clarification have spurred many stakeholders to send letters to Treasury that outline specific requests for guidance.
Last week Enterprise hosted a webinar on “Opportunity Zones: The Latest Insights from Across the Nation” to discuss the latest policy updates, our strategy for creating a platform of Opportunity Funds, and how local jurisdictions are planning for investing in Opportunity Zones and engaging local stakeholders.