Home sale prices of residential properties in areas designated as federal “Opportunity Zones” code have risen by more than 25% over the past year, according to a new report by Zillow.
The Opportunity Zones program, created as part of the 2017 tax code, gives developers and investors a tax benefit if they build new apartments or condos, or rehabilitate existing properties, in one of 8,700 specially designated “distressed” zones. Government officials anticipate that the program will bring more than $10B in private capital to these distressed areas.
The majority of these zones were required to have an average poverty rate of 20 percent and a median family income of no more than 80 percent of the statewide median income.
That means some sites met the requirements but were not selected. Of those eligible sites that were not selected as Opportunity Zones, residential sales only increased 8.4 percent in the last year, according to Zillow.
Critics of the program still worry it will only benefit wealthy developers in gentrifying and up-and-coming areas that happen to be in Opportunity Zones, and that the truly distressed communities will be ignored.


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