Last month, NFG’s Democratizing Development Program held two separate meetings with funders and community leaders to learn, network, and strategize about the impacts, implications, and potential actions we can take to ensure that Opportunity Zones are more equitable in cities across the country.
The Opportunity Zones designation, a provision nested within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, presents significant opportunities and potential challenges for local leaders seeking to advance equitable economic development. Unlike many state-level incentives, there are no requirements included regarding the number of jobs, amounts of wages, transparency, accountability, or a certain percentage of hires of residents within the designated zone. Of the 100 million people in America who are economically insecure (living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level), approximately 19 million of them live in the census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones.
As Opportunity Zone regulations are finalized and interpreted to encourage investments in low-income neighborhoods, many are concerned that without public and philanthropic interventions, these could further exacerbate and encourage gentrification and displacement.
Join this second installment of our conversation on Opportunity Zones to hear how community, philanthropy, and the public sector can work together to prioritize investments in projects that yield equitable growth, benefits, development without displacement, and economic opportunity for low-income communities and communities of color.
- Charles Rutheiser, Senior Associate, Center for Community and Economic Opportunity, Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Christopher M. Brown, Director, PolicyLink
For more information, contact Nile Malloy, Senior Program Manager of NFG’s Democratizing Development Program, at email@example.com.