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CDFA Opportunity Zones Update Newsletter - July 21, 2020

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CDFA Opportunity Zones Update
July 21, 2020
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Opportunity Zones Update Newsletter


CDFA Announces the CDFA-Frost Brown Todd Infrastructure Finance Collaboration
The Council of Development Finance Agencies has partnered with Frost Brown Todd and its affiliate FBT Project Finance Advisors on the new CDFA Intro Infrastructure Finance WebCourse and the CDFA Finance Toolbox video series. This collaboration will focus on financial challenges and opportunities facing communities working to develop or upgrade energy, water, broadband, disaster recovery, transportation, and other services, and provide expert analyses to inform the development finance industry.

State of the Opportunity Zones Marketplace: The Impact of COVID-19
The OZ marketplace finally began to hit its stride late in 2019 as increased regulatory clarity, higher levels of investment, and emerging market norms combined to encourage broader participation from a diverse group of stakeholders.  However, broader economic conditions have changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 crisis, raising new questions about the potential near- and long-term effects of the pandemic on the OZ marketplace.

IRS Issues Frequently Asked Questions on Qualified Opportunity Zones/Funds
As has become its practice with legislation and regulations of significance, the IRS has recently issued a set of frequently asked questions ("FAQs") on qualified opportunity zones ("QOZs"), to "provide a basic understanding and awareness" of the subject.  Following is a summary of highlights of the FAQs.

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.9M to Make Disaster Resilient Infrastructure Improvements in Oklahoma Foreign Trade and Opportunity Zone
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.9M grant to the Muskogee City-County Port Authority of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, to make critical infrastructure improvements needed to protect businesses from future floods. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.65M in local funds.

Opportunity Zone Promise Becomes Reality in Erie, PA
Erie has won national recognition for its use of Opportunity Zones, which provide tax benefits for investing capital gains in designated low-income areas. More importantly, $47.7M in Opportunity Zone investments already have been committed to some of Erie's poorest census tracts. And there's reason to believe more investments are on the way.

Annual Top 25 Opportunity Zone Influencers List Released
The prestigious insider listing of who's who in the Opportunity Zone industry – the Top 25 OZ Influencers – has been released in the latest edition of Opportunity Zone Magazine. The annual tribute showcases the industry's leading and most influential OZ professionals, who inspire and lead through their vision and innovative accomplishments.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Seeks Proposals to Study Tribal Economic Development Projects in Opportunity Zones
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs wants to encourage tribes and Alaska Native Corporations to identify potential economic development projects or activities inside designated Opportunity Zones. The department is seeking proposals from tribes for technical assistance to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies for Opportunity Zone projects. The agency has $900K allocated for the program. 

Solving Economic Development Barriers with Web Technology
Three systemic barriers Economic Development Organizations face are understaffed teams, limited expertise and a network that lacks connections to key stakeholders. These constraints extend to other participants in the development process as well, including project sponsors, funders and residents. The use of online platforms can go a long way toward bridging these gaps and help lead to a more inclusive and equitable process.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Virtual Summer School

CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance
Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 2:00 PM Eastern
This installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series will illustrate the many positive impacts that result from financing food systems at a neighborhood scale, with speakers to showcase the versatility of projects and financing approaches.

CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: Policy and the Future of PACE
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Eastern
This webinar will examine the next decade of PACE with a forward-looking view of how PACE will continue to evolve nationwide. PACE experts will explore ways in which the industry can expand PACE use to places that have yet to take advantage of this modern development finance tool. Learn how to tackle public policy hurdles and how to educate community leaders on the pros of PACE while ensuring accountability, transparency, and program effectiveness.

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Investing in Childcare Facilities
Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 1:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we will showcase various childcare facilities financing programs from across the country and highlight projects that have successfully utilized these tools.

Opportunity Zones Headlines

Historic Mesa, AZ Building Recast for a Hi-Tech Future
East Valley Tribune | Jul. 20 | Opportunity Zones | Redevelopment

Conscious Capitalism in Opportunity Zones, With Travis Steffens
OpportunityDb | Jul. 15 | Opportunity Zones | Social Finance

OEDIT Selects Businesses for Opportunity Zone Accelerator Program
Biz West | Jul. 8 | Access to Capital | Member News | Opportunity Zones

Six Recipients Selected for Colorado Premiere Opportunity Zone Capital Accelerator Program
Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade | Jul. 6 | Economic Development | Opportunity Zones | Social Finance | State Finance Program | Impact Investing

The 5 Fastest-Growing East Coast Opportunity Zones
Millionacres | Jul. 4 | Opportunity Zones

WinnDevelopment Proceeds With $38.3M Mixed-Income Housing Project
New England Real Estate Journal | Jul. 3 | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones | State Finance Program | Tax Credits | Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs)

Opportunity Alabama From OZs To COVID-19 Recovery
Forbes | Jun. 30 | Opportunity Zones | Case Studies | Opportunity Funds

Shorewood Real Estate Group and Bridge Investment Group Close on $88M Construction Financing for Queens, NY Development
PR Newswire | Jun. 30 | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones | Opportunity Funds

Erie Insurance Makes Opportunity Zone Investment in Erie, PA
GoErie | Jun. 30 | Opportunity Zones

The Fastest-Growing Opportunity Zones in California
Millionacres | Jun. 30 | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones

Erie Opportunity Zones to Receive $40M Investment from New Partnership
Erie News Now | Jun. 30 | Opportunity Zones

Capital Square Secures Construction Financing for Mixed-Use OZ Project in Richmond, VA
Connect Washington, D.C. | Jun. 29 | Economic Development | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones | Opportunity Funds

Local Developer, Wealthy Investors Pave Different Paths in Opportunity Zones
The Center for Public Integrity | Jun. 29 | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones | Social Finance

Covid-19 Divides Investors On Senior Living Opportunity Zone Projects
Senior Housing News | Jun. 25 | Healthcare | Opportunity Zones

Black Businesses Largely Miss Out on Opportunity Zone Money
The Pew Charitable Trusts | Jun. 24 | Opportunity Zones | Social Finance

The 5 Fastest-Growing Southern Opportunity Zones
Millionacres | Jul. 17 | Opportunity Zones


What State and Local Governments Can Do to Support Federal Opportunity Zones Investments
Opportunity Zones
The July 2020 Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits looks at various ways communities can assist in securing Opportunity Zone investments in affordable housing. Suggested strategies include combining OZs with other development finance tools, leasing city land to developers at a minimum price, applying for additional federal support, and more.

Opportunity Virginia Annual Report 2019-2020
Opportunity Zones | Social Finance
Opportunity Virginia's 2019-2020 Annual Report discusses their goals and strategies to ensure that VA Opportunity Zones attract investments that will make inclusive and equitable economic growth a priority alongside the market-driven capital flows.

Applying the Opportunity Zones Program in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Disaster Recovery & Relief | Opportunity Zones
In light of the unprecedented economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak, taxpayers with short-term or long-term capital gain income generated in 2019, or in early 2020, can use the OZ program to invest the qualified gains in a QOF for a period of time. As some investors reevaluate their commitments to qualified opportunity zones ("QOZs") in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, they may enjoy some level of favorable tax treatment in 2020 if they decide to liquidate their capital from the funds.

An Early Assessment of Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development Projects
Community Development | Economic Development | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones
Despite being viewed primarily as an economic development tool in low-income communities—that is, positioning the local economy on a higher growth trajectory—many proponents have suggested that OZs also have a community development purpose of helping people in poverty to improve their local context and lead healthy, productive lives.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation's leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing public, private and non-profit entities alike. For more information, visit www.CDFA.net or email info@cdfa.net.

Council of Development Finance Agencies
100 E. Broad Street, Suite 1200
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 705-1300


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