White House and HUD Publish Opportunity Zone Implementation Plan
The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, chaired by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, recently published its Implementation Plan. It details how the council will accomplish the goals specified in Executive Order 13583 of Dec. 12, 2018. The Implementation Plan explains the various subcommittees of the council and describes the strategy to implement administrative reforms and initiatives that will target, streamline, coordinate, and optimize federal resources in economically distressed communities, including Opportunity Zones.
In addition to developing an “OpportunityZones.gov” website, the council and its Executive Director Scott Turner will be conducting listening tour sessions of rural, urban, and suburban Opportunity Zones and other distressed communities throughout the remainder of 2019. The report identifies the following council work streams and goals:
- Economic Development—Action item consists of leveraging federal grants and loans in a more integrated way to develop dilapidated properties and provide basic infrastructure and financial tools to attract private investment.
- Entrepreneurship—Action item consists of leveraging government lending and grants to stimulate access to private capital and promote programs that assist entrepreneurs.
- Safe Neighborhoods—Action items consist of combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis, reducing crime, enhancing public safety, and addressing environmental contamination obstacles to development.
- Education and Workforce Development—Action item consists of improving the efficacy of K-12 and community college career and technical education and workforce development programs to better prepare workers in distressed communities for jobs.
- Measurement—Action item consists of developing robust reporting and analytics to measure the impact of Opportunity Zones.