Legislation Introduced to Create Disaster Opportunity Zones

On April 4, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced legislation that would enact a new round of opportunity zone designations for low-income census tracts in selected 2018 disaster areas. The Disaster Opportunity Zones Act would allow governors to nominate the greater of 25 low-income census tracts or 25 percent of low-income census tracts affected by Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael, and the Mendocino, Carr, Camp, Woolsey, and Hill wildfires, spanning the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and California.

Enterprise believes that Opportunity Zones have the potential to leverage significant capital to help communities as they rebuild post-disaster; however, it is critical that Opportunity Fund investments support the equitable recovery of a community. We recommend that real estate investments into federal disaster areas that have lost a large stock of their housing aim to achieve at least a no net loss of affordable housing units, and that Opportunity Funds engage with local community partners to ensure that community needs are met and that low-income residents and businesses are served in recovery efforts.

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