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CDFA Opportunity Zones Update Newsletter - December 15, 2020

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CDFA Opportunity Zones Update
December 15, 2020
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Opportunity Zones Update Newsletter


Despite Challenges, Opportunity Zones Provide Much-Needed Capital
Following a slow rollout of rules governing opportunity zones, a program Congress approved three years ago to encourage investment in low-income neighborhoods, developers have pumped billions of dollars into the zones nationwide, even in the midst of the pandemic. Despite criticism for a lack of transparency, developers say it is "a great tool to have in the toolbox."

Developer Aims to Raise $1B for Investing in Minority Communities
A California developer is trying to raise $1 billion to invest in Black and Latino communities. If successful, it would be one of the largest commercial real-estate funds ever to focus on minority neighborhoods. Martin Muoto, chief executive of the real-estate firm SoLa Impact LLC, is trying to use a similar approach in cities across the U.S. that suffer from a shortage of affordable housing and from regulatory barriers that make it tougher to build.

Musk, Bezos Space Race Gets a Boost From Opportunity Zones
Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk had competed for nearly a decade to develop engines and rockets through their privately owned space companies when Opportunity Zones became law. Their companies' sites were included among the thousands of tracts across the U.S. designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones, part of President Trump's plan to use tax breaks to attract investments and jobs to distressed neighborhoods.

Biden's Administration Plans Long-Awaited Opportunity Zone Reforms
As the presidential transition countdown continues, opportunity zones have been the object of renewed focus, both for their potential benefits and their weaknesses. President-elect Joe Biden's campaign website includes a page, last updated on July 28, detailing how he would like to reform the opportunity zone program to prevent "billionaires [from exploiting] Opportunity Zones tax breaks to pad their wealth."

Opportunity Zones on Track to Lift One Million Americans Out of Poverty
Fifty-two million Americans live in economically distressed communities, including the thirty-five million who reside in Opportunity Zones. A report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors estimates that the poverty rate in Opportunity Zones could be reduced by 11 percent through billions in investment and new job opportunities.

Opportunity Zones: Past, Present, and Future, with Rachel Reilly
With a new President taking office next month, what does the future hold for Opportunity Zones? And what policy reforms under a Biden-Harris administration would improve the policy such that it more closely adheres to legislative intent? This podcast features Rachel Reilly, the former director of impact strategy at Economic Innovation Group.

IRS Begins Sending Letters to Taxpayers that May Need to Take Action Regarding Opportunity Funds
The Internal Revenue Service has started sending letters to taxpayers that may need to take additional actions related to Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOF). This letter lets them know that if they intended to self-certify as a QOF they may need to take additional action to meet the annual self-certification requirement.

Opportunity Zones Working Group Prepares to Provide Feedback on OZ Legislation, Oversight
The OZ Working Group provides a platform for OZ stakeholders to work together to create consensus solutions to technical OZ incentive issues and to provide recommendations to the government to make the OZ incentive more efficient in delivering benefits to low-income communities.

Upcoming Events

Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse
January 27-28, 2021 - Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Fundamentals WebCourse is the foundation for all of CDFA's educational offerings. This course helps attendees understand the variety of development finance tools available, from bonds, tax credits and TIF, to federal financing programs, RLFs,...

Intro Opportunity Zones Finance WebCourse
April 28-29, 2021 - 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Opportunity Zones Finance WebCourse will bring together program designers, fund managers, communities, investors, and policy experts to educate and review the most up-to-date thinking and strategies on how to maximize Opportunity Zone designations and how best to attract zone investments. This interactive webcourse will help communities bring all economic development stakeholders to the table, and have a firm understanding of how the development finance toolbox can both encourage and supplement Opportunity Fund investments.

Opportunity Zones Headlines

New Development Could Bring More Affordable Housing to West Greenville, SC
Greenville News | Dec. 14 | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones | Public-Private Partnership (P3) Financing

Silverback Plans 200-Unit South Bronx Opportunity Zone Project
The Real Deal | Dec. 14 | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones

Mosaic Development Partners Kicks Off Project To Revive Long-Suffering Philadelphia, PA Neighborhood
BisNow | Dec. 14 | Community Development | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones | Social Finance | Tax Credits | Urban Development

Ellavoz Shared Values Opportunity Fund Makes First Investment in Newark, NJ Arts Commons
Ellavoz Impact Capital | Dec. 14 | Community Development | Opportunity Zones

Wisconsin Releases Form for State-Centered QOFs to Certify Extra Capital Gains Exclusions
Novogradac | Dec. 11 | Opportunity Zones

Commercial Real Estate Experts Laud Biden's Proposed Changes to Opportunity Zone Program
National Real Estate Investor | Dec. 11 | Economic Development | Legislative | Opportunity Zones

Top Questions to Ask Before Investing in an Opportunity Zone Fund
OpportunityDb | Dec. 11 | Opportunity Zones

How Regional EDA Groups Can Leverage Opportunity Zones, with Chad LaComb
OpportunityDb | Dec. 11 | Opportunity Zones

EDA Invests $2M to Expand Business Incubator in Statesboro, GA Opportunity Zone
All In Georgia | Dec. 11 | Federal | Opportunity Zones | U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)

Understanding a Path to Boosting Lower-Income Communities: Qualified Opportunity Zones
Forbes | Dec. 11 | Opportunity Zones

Cityview Secures Funding for $125M Opportunity Zone Project in Los Angeles, CA
Cityview | Dec. 11 | Housing Finance | Opportunity Zones

Data Center Investors and Developers Benefit from Opportunity Zones
Data Center Knowledge | Dec. 11 | Incentives | Innovation Finance | Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zone Round Table Discussion on Millionacres Podcast
Millionacres | Dec. 4 | Agriculture Finance | Economic Development | Opportunity Zones | Rural Development

New 65-acre Waterfront Neighborhood Offers Financial Incentives for Investors and Developers
Barron News-Shield | Nov. 19 | Opportunity Zones | Tax Credits | Tax Increment Finance (TIF) | Opportunity Funds | Federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs)

Colorado Receives Opportunity Zone Housing Investment from Arctaris Impact
Arctaris Impact Investors | Nov. 17 | Housing Finance | Member News | Opportunity Zones


Delivering Opportunity: A Diagnostic and Strategy Playbook to Maximize Indiana's Opportunity Zones
Opportunity Zones
To overcome binding constraints on the market's growth and maximize the potential of the new federal OZ incentives for Indiana communities, EIG authored this report and mapped out several strategies that should be considered to unlock more capital and strengthen local capacity.

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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