Opportunities within the Empowerment Zone Initiative
Mark Fabiani’s storied career in politics includes service as Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, as well as many positions within the Clinton Administration. Mark Fabiani worked to implement the Empowerment Zone Initiative, a federal plan for the revitalization of urban communities.
The Empowerment Zone Initiative (EZI) was established in 1994 by Congress and implemented by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Its purpose is to foster job creation and other business opportunities by providing tax abatements and financial incentives for some of the country’s economically challenged areas. There are numerous opportunities under this initiative. Tax-exempt bonds allow below-market interest rates for business development and job creation. Banks and various corporations involved in lending money can earn tax credit by holding what are known as Qualified Zone Academy Bonds; these pertain to schools or programs within schools that meet certain criteria. While the EZI has established guidelines for funding, decisions are largely community-driven, allowing those who live in these communities to have a hand in how their neighborhoods develop.