Virginia launches initiative to increase economic investment in low-income areas

October 24, 2019 | In the News

Virginia launched the initiative Opportunity Virginia, which seeks to leverage the federal Opportunity Zone Program created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to incentivize investment in low-income communities.

People who invest in eligible capital in the qualified opportunity zones can receive federal tax breaks. The Virginia Housing Development Authority will provide $50 million in a revolving loan credit facility program to help investors acquire property in these zones.

“The credit facility program is a revolving loan program that will provide an interim financing mechanism for the purchase of real estate within a Virginia Opportunity Zone expected to be developed or redeveloped by a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund,” Amanda Love, a spokesperson for the Department of Housing & Community Development, told The Center Square via email.

The Virginia Community Capital (VCC) will be developing an online marketplace through a $1 million grant from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). It will seek to help the facilitation of investments into the opportunity zones by creating an online marketplace that will educate stakeholders, share project ideas and connect investors to businesses and properties.

“As Governor, one of my highest priorities is ensuring that every Virginian has access to a good job and the skills to be successful, no matter who you are or where you’re from,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a news release. “This initiative will help Virginia use the Opportunity Zone tax incentive program created by Congress almost two years ago to bring needed investment to important projects being developed across the Commonwealth. We are focused on pursuing economic growth that is inclusive and equitable, not just market-driven, and this partnership will bolster our efforts to improve economic opportunity for people in communities that have traditionally been underserved.”

Love said that taxpayer funds will not be used for the grant or revolving loan credit facility program.