ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Opportunity zones are economic development tools that allow people to invest in underserved areas. Former NFL player Jack Brewer and Dr. Alveda King toured one in Atlanta today and weighed in on an initiative to continue these investments.
As would-be homeowners and renters look for housing opportunities, Brewer and King discussed Opportunity Now, an America First Policy Institute initiative. Brewer is chair of the Center for Opportunity Now. He’s joining King, who’s also the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for a two-day tour.
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“We’re very excited about an opportunity to partner here in Atlanta and around America to make America great again, period,” said King.
“It really is humbling to be here in Atlanta and in this community to see how much opportunity and how much hope people are really receiving here,” Brewer said.
They say the initiative will help families in underserved areas achieve the American Dream through opportunity zones.
“Opportunity Zones provide tax breaks that incentivize investors to invest in distressed areas and spur economic growth,” said Evo Group CEO and Co-Founder Majesty Gayle.
Brewer and King are partnering with builders like Evo Group, a company that builds sustainable housing using shipping containers. “They actually came to our offices and were able to see our prototype that started everything when it comes to our business model, and they were able to tour our offices as well,” Gayle said. He said the company is looking for partners to help them expand nationwide.
They toured a site on Monica Court Southwest in Atlanta that will cost roughly $300,000, but about $100,000 less than the average home cost. “One unit will go here. We have 11 units similar to this that are being developed in opportunity zones here in Atlanta,” said Gayle. “We also have a product that goes as low as $60,000 that comes with a plot of land,” he added.
Neighbors on Monica Court say they’re concerned the development will worsen water drainage problems in the area, but developers say they plan to level the land to prevent any issues.
The idea of opportunity zones was launched under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 during the Trump Administration.
Some argue opportunity zones are only lining the pockets of investors and wealthy Americans, as low-income communities continue to face a lack of affordable housing.
Supporters disagree and say there’s a divine calling behind their motives.
“If we continue to stay positive and keep letting the Lord guide our paths, we’re going to be ok,” said Brewer.
“With God, all things are possible. We’re gonna help people get off the streets and stand up and participate in the American dream,” said King.
King and Brewer plan to continue their tour on Thursday, looking at infrastructure and meeting with faith and community leaders.