The EB-5 program, a federal program designed to attract foreign investment to real estate projects in economically distressed markets, is gaining prominence among CED practitioners in the Southeast. A recent Real Estate Research blog post by Will Lambe, the Atlanta Fed's senior CED adviser on community development finance, highlights the impact of EB-5 in the southeastern region and describes major issues facing the program. The first blog post described the mechanics of EB-5.

As Lambe notes, the Southeast is home to more than 25 successfully developed and financed EB-5 projects. However, the successes are balanced by stories of failure, delay, unmet expectations, or, in the worst cases, fraud and litigation. Lambe goes on to outline four major considerations facing the program that emerged at a 2014 conference on EB-5 hosted by the Initiative for Competitive Inner City. Issues included the limited availability of data on EB-5 projects and the question of whether communities accrue broad benefit from them.

To find out about other tools and policies used in economically distressed communities, follow this publication in the coming months.