WASHINGTON, DC – In a move to aid in rebuilding communities devastated by disasters, Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02) introduced H.R. 3790, the Residential Recovery Zone Act.
The bill focuses on addressing a pressing issue in the wake of many natural disasters – the lack of housing. H.R. 3790 creates new “Residential Recovery Zones” to incentivize both residential development and home ownership in affected disaster areas. Homeowners in these designated areas will be able to qualify for a refundable homebuyer tax credit of up to $8,000 if they purchase a home within a three-year time period after designation.
The bill also allows for banks to earn Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit for loaning to individuals who are purchasing a home in a residential recovery zone. Finally, the bill affords the state authority to designate certain federally-declared disaster areas to be deemed “opportunity zones.” Opportunity zones, which were a product of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, provide direct tax incentives to investors for certain areas to revitalize an economically distressed area in exchange for a deferral of capital gains taxes.
“The Panhandle faced unprecedented losses after Hurricane Michael destroyed or damaged a large percentage of the houses and businesses in its path. While we are working hard to rebuild, many Hurricane Michael victims are facing a housing crisis. These people are having to make tough decisions and some have even moved away because of lack of affordable housing,” said Dr. Dunn. “While not a complete solution, this bill will help home buyers and spur investors in disaster areas. By incentivizing home-buying we can stimulate the local economy and make it clear to all that the Panhandle is open for business.”