OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY)- An opportunity to revitalize communities that need the most help is coming to Acadiana.
white house representatives, members of the Acadiana Planning Commission, and local leaders met in Opelousas today to discuss the possibilities.
Opportunity zones. That was the topic of discussion during Acadiana’s White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council roundtable discussions this Tuesday.
“Opportunity zones from a high level overview are census tracts that have been designated by state leaders, territory leaders and tribal leaders that have not seen investment in many many decades,” said Scott Turner.
Turner is the executive director of the White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council explains how these investments could help those areas.
The federal program was established by Congress to encourage investors to put funds into local areas that need the most help.
“For those citizens that are inside those opportunity zones they have experienced great poverty, lack of quality housing lack of quality education,” Turner said. “So we have elected officials and economic development and community leaders coming together to say what is the pain of the community, but what also is the potential?”
The first step to tap into this potential? Discussion. Monique Boulet, CEO of Acadiana Planning Commission, explains.
“We cannot come in here and say this is going work in this building and this is gonna work here and you should invest in this kind of business,” said Boulet. “So we really are working with the leaders to try to identify that in each of those communities. Whether it’s Opelousas or in Ville Platte. We’re having those conversations with some of the key stake holders there.”
Boulet says their hope is for each group of leaders in Acadiana’s opportunity zones to come up with a project plan and pitch those projects to investors within four to six months.