|HUD No. 20-106
HUD Public Affairs
July 17, 2020
SECRETARY BEN CARSON, U.S. SENATOR TIM SCOTT AND ACTING COMPTROLLER BROOKS TAKE ACTION TO DRIVE CAPITAL INVESTMENT IN CHARLESTON, SC
Opportunity Zone workshop provides insight for investors and lenders on how new Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule creates catalyst for reviving underserved communities
CHARLESTON, SC - Today, Secretary Carson traveled to Charleston, South Carolina to attend an Opportunity Zone workshop hosted by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). The event focused on a final Office of the Comptroller of the Currency rule to strengthen the implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)in existing Opportunity Zones to incentivize long-term investments.
Photo courtesy: Office of U.S. Senator Tim Scott
"The Charleston community, and many others like it across the nation, have witnessed the revival of economic activity since the Opportunity Zone tax incentive was established by President Trump," said Secretary Carson. "The new CRA rule will continue to draw bankers, lenders, and entrepreneurs to communities that are ripe with untapped investment and have grounds that are fertile with economic opportunity. Since day one, Senator Scott has been a champion for Opportunity Zones, and I am thankful to be with him and Acting Comptroller Brooks - who's work identified this new way to support community development - today for these important discussions that will power capital investment in underserved communities."
"I'd like to thank Secretary Carson and Acting Comptroller Brooks for making the trip down to South Carolina. Access to capital is a very important topic for people in underserved and minority communities across South Carolina and our nation, especially as so many are seeking to navigate economic challenges around the pandemic," said Senator Tim Scott.
"As the author of Opportunity Zones, I created this initiative to ensure that families in distressed neighborhoods across the country had access to and could utilize the resources needed to climb out of poverty and build towards economic success. Being raised in a single-parent household, I understand the importance of educating the underserved and minority communities on financial literacy and ownership, which is a tool that many are denied in our struggling communities.
"Today's conversations were encouraging, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this workshop yields results not only in South Carolina, but across the nation to provide a hand-up towards economic opportunity."
"Today, bankers, community developers, and advocates got together to explore how to green light projects that increase access to capital to meet local housing and community reinvestment needs," said Acting Comptroller Brooks. "By combining incentives associated with Opportunity Zones and credit under the OCC's new CRA rule, we have a powerful force for supporting underserved areas and creating sustainable change for communities in South Carolina and across the nation."
The Opportunity Zones incentive, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was designed to spur economic development and job creation by encouraging long-term investments in low-income communities nationwide. Nearly 35 million Americans live in the more than 8,700 Opportunity Zones across the country.
In December 2018, President Trump established the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council (WHORC) with a clear focus: to increase economic opportunity through education, workforce development, and entrepreneurship in these historically neglected communities.
Secretary Ben Carson recently submitted the Best Practices Report (https://opportunityzones.hud.gov/sites/opportunityzones.hud.gov/files/documents/OZ_Best_Practices_Report.pdf) from the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to President Trump. For more information on Opportunity Zones visit opportunityzones.hud.gov.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and https://espanol.hud.gov.
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