An Early Assessment of Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development Projects

Research Report

An Early Assessment of Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development Projects

Nine Observations on the Use of the Incentive to Date

Abstract

Opportunity Zones (OZs) are gaining momentum, and now that the rules regulating them are clearer, investors, local officials, developers, and businesses have been engaging with the incentive. In the two years since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 created the incentive and Treasury-designated Zones, hundreds of Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) have been created, and OZ investment was beginning to flow until the COVID-19 crisis began. But has this capital been reaching projects that benefit low- and moderate-income households and communities? Although the program is still maturing,  and the COVID-19 crisis now poses new challenges whose resolution is unknown, this report offers an early, qualitative assessment of how well OZs have channeled capital into projects aligned with equitable development goals.

 

This report was revised July 28, 2020. The image on page 30 came from GMA Construction Group. An earlier version omitted this credit.

Cross-Center Initiative

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