Dear Readers,

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson commemorated Juneteenth by touring the ENCORE! redevelopment area in Tampa, Fla. — a formerly segregated neighborhood that is prospering once again, while staying true to its African-American roots.

Following race riots of the 1960s, the once-bustling business district was demolished. But in 2009, ENCORE construction began to slowly
revitalize the area, which was declared an Opportunity Zone in 2018. Today, ENCORE is a 12-block downtown neighborhood with 662 completed
mixed-income housing units with ground floor retail and amenity space, a state-of-the-art district chilled water plant, district storm water vault, solar
arrays, parks, and is the future site of Tampa’s African American History Museum, Carson announced.

Nearly 35 million Americans now live in the more than 8,700 Opportunity Zones across the country, according to HUD. The administration of
President Donald Trump created Opportunity Zones to encourage privatesector investment in forgotten communities. Although Opportunity Zones are one promising way to deal with the nation’s housing shortage and address the persistent racial disparity in homeownership, the administration still has much work to do to address racial inequality in the housing sector and beyond.

Just one day after Carson’s public visit to mark the day the last American slaves were freed, Trump held a rally in Tulsa, Okla., criticizing BlackLives Matter protestors.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to fight housing discrimination. Read about
that story and more in this month’s issue.

Tracey Read
Editor, RESPA News