U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Ben Carson
U.S. Department of Justice
Attorney General William Barr
|HUD No. 20-146
HUD Public Affairs
September 15, 2020
HUD SECRETARY BEN CARSON AND ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR VISIT OPPORTUNITY ZONE PROJECT IN WILMINGTON
WILMINGTON, DE - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and U.S. Attorney General William Barr yesterday traveled to Wilmington to tour Second Chances Farm, which is located in an Opportunity Zone. The Secretary and Attorney General held a roundtable with the organization’s leadership and employees to discuss the work of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council (https://opportunityzones.hud.gov/thecouncil) and the Federal Interagency Council on Reentry. Second Chances Farm (SCF) is the first commercial, indoor, hydroponic, vertical farm in Delaware and one of the leading Smart Farms in the United States. SCF is a public benefit corporation, certified minority enterprise, a qualified opportunity fund, and a Foreign Trade Zone. SCF hires people who were formerly incarcerated in federal or state prisons and provides them with mentorship and green-collar jobs.
“Opportunity Zones were created to serve as a path forward for our nation’s vulnerable communities,” said Secretary Carson. “Yesterday, I visited Second Chances Farm, a Delaware Opportunity Zone project, which provides locally grown food to its community and jobs to former inmates. Second Chances Farm is not only proof that Opportunity Zones are thriving, but that President Trump’s policies are having a positive impact on America’s forgotten men and women.”
“One key component of the Department’s work is implementing the Trump Administration’s landmark First Step Act. The Department has undertaken a number of measures to prepare inmates still incarcerated for more productive releases in the future,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “It is reentry programs like Second Chances Farms that help in the effort to reduce crime. If we give individuals the tools and support necessary to be successful members in their community, we not only keep our communities safer, we can save the life of the person who once turned to crime to address his or her problems.”
The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) last month delivered a Progress Report on President Trump’s Opportunity Zones initiative to White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Chairman Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The CEA estimates that Opportunity Zones have already generated approximately half a million jobs, attracted $75 billion in capital investments, and are on track to reduce the poverty rate in Opportunity Zones by 11 percent – lifting 1,000,000 people out of poverty.
President Trump signed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, creating Opportunity Zones to stimulate long-term investments in low-income communities. Opportunity Zones offer capital gains tax relief to those who invest in these distressed areas. This initiative is anticipated to spur $100 billion in private capital investment in Opportunity Zones. Incentivizing investment in low-income communities fosters economic revitalization, job creation, and promotes sustainable economic growth across the nation, especially in communities HUD serves. Read more about Opportunity Zones.
Opportunity Zones are a powerful vehicle for bringing economic growth and job creation to the American communities that need it the most. On average, the median family income in an Opportunity Zone is 37 percent below its respective state median. Overall, more than 8,700 communities in all 50 States, Washington D.C., and five U.S. territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones. Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Opportunity Zones.