HUD opens public comment period for Opportunity Zones grant resource

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HUD releases Notice of Proposed Information Collection on new grant certification form for Opportunity Zones The public comment period will remain open through December 9, 2019, and counties are encouraged to share their local perspective on this proposal with HUD

On October 10, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a Notice of Proposed Information Collection on a new Opportunity Zone Grant Certification Form. The form, which can be viewed at this link, would collect data from designated Opportunity Zones to be used toward preference points in federal grants and technical assistance applications to HUD programs. Under a December 2018 Executive Order establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, HUD added preference points to several of its grant programs to give priority consideration to applications proposing investments in Opportunity Zones. Preference points are items that can increase a grant applicant's likelihood to be selected, such as a high rate of unemployment or homelessness.

Established under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), Opportunity Zones encourage private investment in new businesses, property development and infrastructure in distressed communities via tax incentives. Many counties contain areas that qualify for opportunity zone status and are eligible for targeted investment.

As part of HUD’s data collection effort, the Certification Form includes questions aimed at ensuring HUD resources are supporting economically-distressed communities, such as:

  • How the federal program/activity would benefit the Opportunity Zone;
  • Estimated funding allocations that would be invested in Opportunity Zone projects; and
  • How the federal program or activity would promote public and private investment in urban and economically distressed areas (specifically in Opportunity Zones).

Data from these questions would be counted toward the HUD point system. The agency also welcomes suggestions on ways to enhance the data collection process. Please reach out to NACo Associate Legislative Director Daria Daniel at with any questions or suggestions on submitting public comments.

For more information on Opportunity Zones, please see the following links:

About Daria Daniel (Full Bio)

Associate Legislative Director – Community, Economic & Workforce Development & Liaison to the Large Urban County Caucus

Daria Daniel is the Associate Legislative Director for Community, Economic and Workforce Development at NACo. Daria is responsible for all policy development and lobbying for the association in the areas of housing, community, economic and workforce development. She also serves as the liaison to the Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC).

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