Opportunity Zones (OZs) are part of a developmental program that promotes the long-term investment in, and development of, low-income urban and rural real estate across the United States. Each OZ is a selected census tract that has “high need as well as high potential” for revitalization.

OZs are soaring in the City of Angels. As part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the new government program is designed to stimulate struggling economies across the nation. Investors and developers can reinvest in property in 287 designated census tracts in L.A. County for substantial tax breaks on capital gains.

Here’s some background information to help you better understand the Opportunity Zones concept.

HOW THE OPPORTUNITY ZONES CAME ABOUT

On December 12 of last year, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and named U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson as its chairperson.

The Council’s 13 Federal member agencies engage with governments at all levels on ways to more effectively use taxpayer dollars to revitalize low-income communities. The Council is charged with improving revitalization efforts by streamlining, coordinating, and targeting existing Federal programs to Opportunity Zones, economically distressed communities where new investments may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

Additionally, the Council was asked to consider legislative proposals and undertake regulatory reform to remove barriers to revitalization efforts and present the President with options to encourage capital investment in economically distressed communities.

“These are still early days for the work of the Council and Opportunity Zones, but the groundwork has been laid,” Secretary Carson said when the Council first formed. “The seeds the President has planted are growing and the promise they hold will improve places long forgotten, and the lives of those who call those places home.”

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. 

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. To date, 8,761 communities in all 50 States, Washington D.C., and five Territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones. Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Opportunity Zones.

Currently, there are approximately 380,000 Public Housing units and approximately 340,000 Project-Based Rental Assistance units within Opportunity Zones. Nearly a third of the more than 100,000 rental units preserved through HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) are located in Opportunity Zones.

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