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CDFA Opportunity Zones Update Newsletter - February 19, 2019

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CDFA Opportunity Zones Update
February 19, 2019
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Opportunity Zones Update Newsletter


CDFA Launches Federal Financing Webinar Series: Opportunity Zones
CDFA is renewing its Federal Financing Webinar Series with a focus on Opportunity Zones. The CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Opportunity Zones is an exclusive, four-part online offering that will convene finance experts, federal agencies, and local development finance practitioners to discuss the variety of ways federal grants, loans, guarantees and credit enhancements can leverage greater investment in Opportunity Zones.

Recap of IRS - OZ Public Hearing
On February 14, 2019 the IRS held a public hearing on it proposed regulations for Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds. In total, 23 groups of speakers were scheduled to present in 10-minute increments. 

A Launch Pad for Businesses That Can Make Opportunity Zones Thrive
Projects that integrate community needs and local businesses – and the facilities they need – are hard to come by inside newly designated Opportunity Zones. Fortunately, New Orleans-based Launch Pad, a business incubator, is expanding its network of co-working spaces to Opportunity Zones to stock the project pipeline.

U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, Beeck Center Release OZ Framework
The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation have released a framework outlining how Opportunity Fund managers can thoughtfully deploy the capital they raise from investors. Fund managers will be responsible for identifying and tracking OZ investments, and as such will be well placed to collect basic market and impact data. 

A History of Federal Opportunity Zones
Opportunity Zones are the latest in a long series of efforts by the federal government to direct investment to impoverished areas. Since the New Deal, the government has been trying to jumpstart economic growth in portions of the country where the economy was faltering. This article details these efforts, and how Opportunity Zones came to be.

Senators, House Members Request Clarity from Treasury on OZ Issues
Seven U.S. senators and nine members of the House of Representatives – all original co-sponsors of the Investing in Opportunity Act – sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling for further clarity on several issues related to the OZ regulations.

EPA Letter to IRS on Opportunity Zones Merits Attention
In a letter to the IRS submitted on December 18, the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization requested clarification of the substantial improvement and original use tests, primarily in the context of brownfields remediation. The purpose of the OBLR request is to spur redevelopment of brownfield and other underutilized sites by expanding the breadth and impact of the OZ program.

Wither Goest Thou Opportunity Zones?
Mike O'Donnell, Executive Director of Colorado Lending Source, argues that the vast majority of Opportunity Fund investments in Colorado through the end of 2019 will be in real estate, and that the program's ultimate impact on small business development will be limited.

Opportunity Zones Should Help the Poor, Not Drive Them Out
The best outcome for residents and investors alike is a project that appreciates with the surrounding neighborhood, delivering solid, tax-advantaged returns over a long-term holding period. That will motivate investors to seek out the next Park Slope or Fort Green.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Federal Policy Conference
Opportunity Zones Headlines

Opportunity Zones Offer Tax Breaks and, Maybe, Help for Communities
The New York Times | Feb. 17 | Opportunity Zones

So Many Opportunity Zones, so Many Questions for Developers, Investors
The Real Deal | Feb. 15 | Opportunity Zones

Why Opportunity Zones Will Likely Increase Rents In Vulnerable Areas
GlobeSt.com | Feb. 14 | Opportunity Zones

Whoops! Three Opportunity Zone Mistakes People Have Made Already
BisNow | Feb. 14 | Opportunity Zones

How Opportunity Zones Might Define Substantial Improvement
GlobeSt.com | Feb. 13 | Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones Investors Receive Needed Guidance for Measurable Impact
Forbes | Feb. 12 | Opportunity Zones

CO Governor Announces New Office for OZ Investment
Office of Governor Jared Polis | Feb. 11 | Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones Overload
The Real Deal | Feb. 3 | Opportunity Zones

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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