Technical Assistance


Opportunity Zones Community Strategy and Technical Assistance

Opportunity Zones, created as a result of the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, are low-income census tracts eligible to use tax incentives to encourage long-term investments in Zone assets and property. Approximately 8,700 census tracks have been designated as Opportunity Zones in all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

To receive investment in local businesses or real estate projects, an Opportunity Zone must attract equity investments from Opportunity Funds, which are capitalized by investors who have realized gains on a recent transaction. Those investors can defer their federal capital gains taxes from that transaction for up to 10 years as long as 90% of the assets in an Opportunity Fund are directly invested in qualified projects in Opportunity Zones. Further, if the Opportunity Fund experiences any gains during that 10-year period, those gains are fully exempted from federal capital gains tax.

CDFA Solutions

Opportunity Zones offer communities exciting new ways to access capital, especially into areas that have received disinvestment for many years or decades. Understanding how to use capital from Opportunity Funds is critical to realizing a successful investment strategy that drives both economic and social impact directly into communities and neighborhoods. Because Opportunity Funds can be used to support both business and real estate projects in Opportunity Zones, it is important for communities to be proactive in identifying potential investments and coordinating with multiple stakeholders.

CDFA’s development finance expertise and our national network of professionals is uniquely suited to help communities develop their own Opportunity Zones investment strategy. CDFA can offer three main solutions, including crafting a local Opportunity Zones strategy, hosting an Opportunity Zones workshop or educational event, or speaking at an existing event. Each of these solutions can be customized depending on the needs of any given community. Preference in timing and requested dates will be given to CDFA members.

-Opportunity Zone Strategy & Technical Assistance

CDFA can provide comprehensive Opportunity Zone technical assistance to communities seeking to build a strategy around this important economic development tool. This service incorporates two main components:
    1. Conducting Local Strategy Sessions with Key Stakeholders
    CDFA will work with a community to identify all of the priority stakeholders in an Opportunity Zone, including state and local government officials, policy makers, development finance agencies, non-profit or community groups and advocates, business leaders, housing experts, among others. A two-day strategy session will take place to allow for direct education based on local priorities, touring the Opportunity Zone(s), and identifying challenges that Opportunity Funds could uniquely solve. In addition, these strategy sessions would begin to identify other financing resources and programs that a community may already have or need to build in order to see successful investment.

      2. Identifying Opportunity Funds and Funding Mechanisms
      After the strategy sessions, CDFA will analyze and make recommendations for the most effective financing strategy, which may include a community creating their own Opportunity Fund, developing an outreach strategy to encourage existing Opportunity Funds to invest, or a combination of both. CDFA will employ a collaborative approach that involves multiple financing partners to realize a successful investment strategy. CDFA will then present a roadmap document outlining the most effecting funding strategy, which will be developed in collaboration with local and national experts.

    Contact CDFA to learn more and discuss pricing.

-Opportunity Zones Stakeholder Meeting

CDFA can build a targeted one-day workshop for a community wanting to better engage all of the Opportunity Zones stakeholders in a particular place. This workshop would include basic education on Opportunity Zones, understanding Opportunity Zones from a state and local economic development perspective, discussing funding strategies and attracting investors. In addition, breakout sessions can be organized to talk about funding strategies based on specific places or sectors.

CDFA will provide all meeting planning services, including finding a date and venue location, providing all necessary catering, hosting a website and online registration, building an agenda, inviting speakers, and coordinating all onsite needs and pre- and post-event communications. CDFA will also work in conjunction with the local host to coordinate marketing and outreach to interested participants.

Contact CDFA to learn more and discuss pricing.

-CDFA Speaker Request

CDFA is available to speak at a variety of meetings related to Opportunity Zones. Topics could include basics of Opportunity Zones, engaging local and state governments with Opportunity Zones, understanding how Opportunity Funds work in combination with other development finance tools. To request a speaker, complete the CDFA Speaker Request Form on the CDFA website. For each event, CDFA requests that all travel fees be covered along with a speaker fee. This fee may be waived for CDFA members or non-profit organizations.

Contact CDFA to learn more and discuss pricing.