As part of the 2020 State of the Union address, President Donald Trump covered economic growth in the U.S., including increased employment levels, rising wages, and the impact Opportunity Zones have had on underserved areas.
“Jobs and investments are pouring into 9,000 previously neglected neighborhoods thanks to Opportunity Zones, a plan spearheaded by Sen. Tim Scott,” President Donald Trump said at the 2020 State of the Union Address. “In other words, wealthy people and companies are pouring money into neighborhoods or areas that haven’t seen investment in many decades, creating jobs, energy, and excitement.”
"It's all working," President Trump added.
Sen. Scott had proposed the Opportunity Zone plan as part of the 2017 Tax and Job Cuts act, and according to Scott, the project has been a success, for both residents and investors.
“Of the 8,766 census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones, more than 20% have poverty rates of 40% or higher, compared to just 5% of communities nationwide,” Sen. Scott stated in Washington Examiner. “The average poverty rate of zone residents is 28.9%, more than twice the national average. Only 6% of all zones have a median family income above the national average, while 71% of zones meet the U.S. Treasury Department’s definition of ‘severely distressed.’”
Housing investors have seen investment in opportunity zones pay dividends, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. As of Q3 2019, half the zones saw median home prices rise more than the national increase of 8.3% year-over-year. Additionally, 79% of the zones had median home prices in the third quarter of 2019 that were less than the national median of $270,000. Among the 3,658 Opportunity Zones with sufficient data to analyze, median prices rose in 48% of the zoned areas by more than the national rate of gain from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019.