HUD: Request for Information on Maximizing the Positive Impact of Opportunity Zones Announced

he U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input on how the Department can use its existing authorities to maximize the beneficial impact of Opportunity Zones for residents and their communities.

This RFI will allow the public to share existing knowledge and provide recommendations to HUD regarding the use of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities, including qualified Opportunity Zones. Read the RFI here.

“Opportunity Zones present tremendous promise for America’s distressed communities,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “Through this request, we are looking to better understand how HUD can better tailor its policies and help Opportunity Zones create more positive economic outcomes for the millions of Americans that live in these areas, and for our country as a whole.”

In this RFI, HUD is seeking information on the following:

  • How HUD should use its existing authorities to maximize the beneficial impact of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities;
  • Whether HUD should create an information portal, and what information it should include;
  • How HUD should prioritize support for urban and economically distressed areas, including Opportunity Zones, in its grants, financing, and other assistance;
  • What types of technical assistance should be offered through HUD;
  • How HUD can ensure existing residents, businesses, and community organizations in Opportunity Zones benefit from the influx of investment;
  • How HUD can properly evaluate the impact of Opportunity Zones on communities;
  • How HUD should interact with other stakeholders to maximize the success of the Opportunity Zone incentive;
  • How Qualified Opportunity Fund investments might support the goal of ending homelessness; and
  • Any other aspects of Opportunity Zones that should be considered and are not addressed in this request for information.

The RFI is a part of the work Secretary Carson is undertaking as the Chair of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council. The Council’s 13 Federal member agencies are engaging with governments at all levels—State, local, tribal, and Territorial—on ways to more effectively use taxpayer dollars to revitalize low-income communities.

President Trump signed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, creating Opportunity Zones to stimulate long-term investments in low-income communities. The program offers capital gains tax relief to those who invest in these distressed areas. This program is anticipated to spur $100 billion in private capital investment in Opportunity Zones. Incentivizing investment in low-income communities fosters economic revitalization, job creation, and promotes sustainable economic growth across the nation, especially in communities HUD serves. Read more about the Opportunity Zones program.

Opportunity Zones are a powerful vehicle for bringing economic growth and job creation to the American communities that need it the most. On average, the median family income in an Opportunity Zone is 37 percent below the state median. Overall, more than 8,700 communities in all 50 States, Washington D.C., and five U.S. Territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones. Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Opportunity Zones.

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to www.regulations.gov.

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