Ofer Eldar (Duke; Google Scholar) & Chelsea Garber (J.D. Candidate 2023, Duke), Alternative Zones: A Program In Search Of A Function, 102 B.U. L. Rev. 1397 (2022):
In 2017, Congress created the Alternative Zone (“OZ”) program to stimulate financial development in low-income communities. This system was characterised by its unprecedented scale relative to earlier place-based growth efforts and was described as “maybe probably the most bold financial growth device to come back out of Congress in a technology.” Nonetheless, this system was shortly criticized on quite a few grounds, and its design flaws are so extreme that a number of legislators have known as for its reform or repeal.
This Essay argues that the foundation of the OZ program’s issues is a robust mismatch between its said goal and its precise phrases. We focus on how the OZ program works and why the precise phrases of its enabling laws encourage buyers to deal with actual property initiatives. We present that, opposite to frequent perceptions of the OZ program, its supposed goal was to advertise entrepreneurship and startup exercise. We conduct an empirical evaluation to indicate that low-income tracts didn’t expertise any improve in startup funding following OZ designation. Total, our outcomes counsel that OZ designation has usually failed to realize its said aim and that the intense issues about its manipulability to favor particular buyers are warranted. Lastly, we take into account numerous proposals to make the OZ program extra per its authentic aim and briefly be aware how the legislative course of behind the OZ statute might have contributed to its shortcomings