Research Report An Early Assessment of Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development Projects
Subtitle
Nine Observations on the Use of the Incentive to Date
Brett Theodos, Eric Hangen, Jorge González-Hermoso, Brady Meixell
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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.

Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Families Race and equity Taxes and budgets Housing
Tags Federal housing programs and policies Economic well-being Racial and ethnic disparities Federal urban policies Job opportunities Multifamily finance Single-family finance Families with low incomes Housing affordability Public and private investment Individual taxes Federal budget and economy Community and economic development Finance Racial barriers to housing Racial inequities in economic mobility Racial inequities in neighborhoods and community development Equitable development Federal tax issues and reform proposals
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center