Congressmen Introduce Bill to Mandate Diversity Benchmarks in OZ Investments
Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., and Bobby Rush, D-Ill., introduced a bill last week to require investments that benefit from the opportunity zones (OZs) incentive to reach certain benchmarks in diversity and affordable housing. H. R. 4999 would require all qualified opportunity funds (QOFs) to have advisory boards for each OZ in which they invest. The bill would also require at least 50 percent of a QOF’s OZ property to be interest in partnerships and stock of corporations which are controlled by women or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, that at least 30 percent of a QOF’s OZ property be in areas with population of less than 200,000 and that at least 40 percent of the QOF’s OZ property be stock in small corporations or in corporations whose price-earnings ratio is less than 5. The legislation also would require that any residential property in which a QOF invests must have at least 20 percent of units available to residents who earn no more than 30 percent of the area median income or no more than 200 percent of the poverty line.