NCSHA Public Hearing Statement to IRS on Opportunity Zone Proposed Regulations
On February 14, 2019, during an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) public hearing on proposed Opportunity Zone regulations, Executive Director Stockton Williams urged IRS to implement regulations that strengthen the ability of Opportunity Zone tax incentives to expand and preserve affordable housing. In his testimony, Williams highlighted the importance of ensuring Opportunity Zone incentives can be put to work redeveloping vacant land in distressed communities, which represents a huge, largely untapped potential resource for affordable housing in many cities across the United States.
Williams also recommended other opportunities for IRS guidance to further enhance the prospects for affordable housing and economic development in Opportunity Zones including:
- Leveraging Opportunity Zone incentives with other tax credits, including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, or the New Markets Tax Credit
- Preventing the loss of affordable housing in Opportunity Zones by expressly prohibiting removal or conversion of existing affordable housing, unless new housing of comparable quality and affordability is provided in or near a Zone
- Specifying reporting requirements to enable assessment of the impacts and outcomes of Opportunity Zone investment, including data collection on the number of affordable housing units developed or preserved in each Zone