HUD has requested public input on how the agency can leverage Opportunity Zones to benefit HUD stakeholders. The Request for Information, which was published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2019, is available here. Responses are due by June 17, 2019, and can be submitted electronically here.
Opportunity Zones were created by the Tax and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage investment, economic development, and job creation in designated low income areas through tax incentives. There are currently more than 8,700 Census tracts that have been designated as Opportunity Zones. According to HUD, approximately 2,394,000 people live in HUD-assisted housing within an Opportunity Zone, which is approximately 27% of the total HUD residents.
HUD will review its existing policies and programs to determine how to maximize investment Opportunity Zones. According to a recent post on the HUD website, the following four questions are most important to the agency:
· How should HUD use its existing authorities to maximize the beneficial impact of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities, including Opportunity Zones?
· What types of technical assistance should be offered through HUD?
· What role can HUD play in helping to ensure that existing residents, businesses, and community organizations in Opportunity Zones benefit from the influx of investment and remain the focus of their community's growth moving forward?
· How can HUD properly evaluate the impact of Opportunity Zones on communities?
· You can find a complete copy of the Request for Information with full list of the questions here.