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Rep. Neal Dunn introduces legislation to help disaster victims find housing

Hurricane Michael

WASHINGTON D.C. (WMBB) — In an effort to help communities devastated by disasters, Representative Neal Dunn introduced the Residential Recovery Zone Act in Congress on Thursday.

The bill focuses on addressing a pressing issue in the wake of many natural disasters, the lack of housing. The bill would create new “residential recovery zones” to provide incentives for 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 would also allow for banks to earn community reinvestment act 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.

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