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NAHMA HUD Update: Comments Requested on HUD Approach to Opportunity Zones

Today, HUD released a Request for Information (RFI) regarding HUD policy in Opportunity Zones. HUD seeks input and recommendations from the public regarding potential agency actions. Comments are due to NAHMA by Friday, June 7, 2019.

The 2017 Tax Reform legislation created new tax incentives for investments made in Opportunity Zones to spur economic development and job creation by encouraging long-term investment in low-income communities nationwide. About 27% of residents of HUD-assisted housing live within Opportunity Zones, including in 337,000 project-based rental assistance units. To read a recent NAHMAnalysis on how the new tax benefit could impact affordable housing in the qualified investment zones and beyond, please click here.
 
Consistent with Executive Order 13853, “Establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council,” HUD intends to maximize the beneficial impact of investment in Opportunity Zones. HUD has determined that it should undertake a substantive review of existing policies, practices, planned actions, regulations and guidance regarding HUD-administered programs. The purpose of the review is to identify actions HUD can take to encourage beneficial investment, both public and private, in urban and economically distressed communities, including Opportunity Zones.
 
To assist in HUD's approach to Opportunity Zones, HUD invites ideas and information on the following questions:
1. How should HUD use its existing authorities to maximize the beneficial impact of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities, including Opportunity Zones?

2. HUD is considering creating an information portal on Opportunity Zones. What types of information should HUD include in such a tool? How can it be made accessible to and most usable by HUD's various stakeholders and customers? If the portal includes information on Federal financing programs and incentives beyond those offered by HUD, what types of information would be most useful to include?

3. In what ways could HUD structure preference points for Opportunity Zones and incorporate policy objectives in the rating factors for applications in discretionary grant competitions to increase the incentive to invest in Opportunity Zones? In addition, how should HUD prioritize support for urban and economically distressed areas, including Opportunity Zones, in its grants, financing, and other assistance?

4. What types of technical assistance should be offered through HUD?

5. What role can HUD play in helping to ensure that existing residents, businesses, and community organizations in Opportunity Zones benefit from the influx of investment and remain the focus of their community's growth moving forward?

6. How can HUD properly evaluate the impact of Opportunity Zones on communities?

7. How should HUD interact with other stakeholders to maximize the success of the Opportunity Zone incentive?

8. How might Qualified Opportunity Fund investments support the goal of ending homelessness?

9. Are there other aspects of Opportunity Zones that should be considered and are not addressed in this request for information?
 
The attached RFI is available to read online here. Please submit comments to NAHMA by Friday, June 7, 2019.

 

 
Juliana Bilowich, Manager of Government Affairs
National Affordable Housing Management Association
400 N. Columbus St., Suite 203, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone 703-683-8630, ext.116 Email jbilowich@nahma.org, Website www.nahma.org
NAHMA is the leading voice for affordable housing management, advocating on behalf of multifamily property managers and owners whose mission is to provide quality affordable housing.
 

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