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Here's Why Politicians Want Changes To EB-5

Here's Why Politicians Want Changes To EB-5

US legislators are readying for a renewed debate over who should benefit from the EB-5 visa program, which has provided billions in low-cost financing for massive projects like NYC’s Hudson Yards and luxury apartments in Miami.

The program is meant to give visas to foreigners who invest in rural and high-unemployment areas, but lawmakers are saying that the bulk of EB-5 funds go into affluent areas.

‘We want them to go to the poor areas—which wouldn’t get investment otherwise," Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy says.

According to a report by two NYU real estate professors, Jeanne Calderon and Gary Friedland, a list of 27 major projects—including multiple large ones from Manhattan-based developers—have secured a total of $5.4B in EB-5 funds, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The program is growing rapidly, with international market troubles pushing foreign funds into the safe haven of US real estate. There were 17,691 EB-5 applicants last year, up from 11,744 in 2014 and 6,554 in 2013. [WSJ]