The Rockefeller Foundation Awards Grants to Fuel Plans for Equitable Investment in Opportunity Zones in Washington, DC, Oakland, Dallas, and St. Louis
Washington DC, September 6, 2019 – The Rockefeller Foundation today announced $3.7 million in grants that will benefit four U.S. cities to help drive responsible private investment in Opportunity Zones.
The Foundation named Washington, D.C., Oakland, Dallas and St. Louis as the newest participants in its Opportunity Zone Community Capacity Building Initiative, which launched in May 2019. The initiative will help cities build a pipeline of projects and small business investments that move beyond the early stages of planning and attract private investment in economically-distressed areas. Ultimately, this will benefit vulnerable communities through Opportunity Zones created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The four cities represent 97 Opportunity Zones with more than 362,400 residents. Each will receive $920,000 in grants and supportive services, including a $400,000 grant to establish and fund a Chief Opportunity Zone Officer embedded in each city’s economic development authority. They join Newark and Atlanta, recently announced as the first cities in the initiative, totaling commitments to more than $5.5 million supporting inclusive growth for more than 491,762 people.
“Opportunity Zones have the potential to transform communities and deliver real economic benefits to millions of families living in distressed neighborhoods across the country,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “But that will only happen if organizations like ours make the right investments, bring together the right partners, and put community members — the people we seek to serve — at the center of the work. Our initiative will champion residents’ interests by providing cities with the resources to shape investments so they create good-paying jobs, promote more affordable housing, and provide greater economic opportunity.”
Funding will also support two AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members who will facilitate community involvement in reviewing proposals for Opportunity Zone projects and businesses, and technical assistance to help develop project pipelines that connect the interests of investors with those of existing community members...