White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Created to Support Opportunity Zone Program

On December 12th, President Trump signed an Executive Order to create the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to provide coordinated support for Opportunity Zones across the federal government. The Council will be led by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and include representatives from 13 federal agencies.

Over 8,700 Opportunity Zones have been designated throughout the United States to spur investment in distressed communities. These zones—home to about 35 million Americans—could attract over $100 billion in private funding spurred by a federal tax incentive included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Council is tasked with ensuring that relevant federal programs sufficiently support the Opportunity Zone program and maximize its effectiveness. Specifically, over the next year, the Council will propose:

  • changes to federal policies to encourage public and private investment in Opportunity Zones and other distressed areas;
  • changes to federal policies that would help state, local and tribal governments more effectively harness federal resources in Opportunity Zones and other distressed areas; and,
  • best practices for making public and private investments in Opportunity Zones and other distressed communities.

In addition, the Council will determine how to best evaluate the Opportunity Zone program and the efficacy of the actions of the federal government to support Opportunity Zone-related investments.

 

Looking Back at the Remarkable Economic Rebirth of Erie, Pennsylvania

In January of 2015, Dennis M. Davin was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. Prior to his appointment, Secretary Davin served for more than a decade as Director of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development (ACED).

 

The October 15, 2017 issue of Revitalization News) had an article about Gannon University‘s $2.5 million investment in Erie’s downtown revitalization. Just a few months later, more good news arrived in the form of a $30 million investment by PennDOT.

Here, Davin looks back on the recent history of Erie’s remarkable rebirth, following decades of economic decline:

On the heels of a historic investment announcement in Erie, I am once again amazed at the innovation, imagination, and legendary can-do spirit found in this city.

With more than $32 million in new state funding for projects on the Erie Bayfront and throughout the city, we are proud to collaborate with other state agencies, federal agencies, and private investors to support the great projects happening there.

Read the full article here.