Inclusive Economy | December 13, 2018

‘The devil’s in the details’ in new U.S. commitments to Opportunity Zones

Dennis Price
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Follow all of ImpactAlpha’s industry leading Opportunity Zone coverage.

An executive order by President Trump creates a White House council to coordinate Opportunity Zone support from 13 federal agencies. That could include grant funding, loan guarantees, infrastructure spending and crime prevention initiatives.

  • Action items. The agencies have prepared a list of more than 150 actions to support investments in the zones, including water infrastructure and rural broadband spending, loan programs in designated tracts and mentoring and gang-prevention initiatives, The New York Times reports. An administration official said a new round of Opportunity Zone and fund regulations would include reporting requirements to “allow economists to evaluate whether the program is having an impact.”
  • Agents of impact reaction. “What I fear is if this means federal disinvestment in the non-selected tracts, many of which are also areas that need to attract support,” tweeted Beth Bafford of Calvert Impact Capital… Beeck Center’s Sonal Shah called for “a directive to measure impact and/or have intentionality towards impact (e.g # of long term jobs). It has to be more than a tax break.”… Enterprise’s Rachel Reilly is encouraged by the mentions of data collection and coordination. “Devil’s in the details around the 150 actions,” she told ImpactAlpha… Develop’s Steve Glickman applauded “more holistic public-private approaches to rebuilding communities.” The administration is “on the hook for making OZs far more accessible for business investors,” he told us. Watch for the administration’s Opportunity Zone tour, and new regulations in January.