Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez unveil ‘Green New Deal For Public Housing’ bill

“The Green New Deal for Public Housing would transition the entire public housing stock of the United States, as swiftly and seamlessly as possible, into zero-carbon, highly energy-efficient developments that produce on-site renewable energy, expand workforce capacity and family self-sufficiency programs and focus on community development.”

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Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just unveiled a Green New Deal for Public Housing bill.

According to Common Dreams, this bill would eliminate carbon emissions from federal housing, invest $180 billion over ten years in retrofitting and repairs, and create nearly 250,000 decent-paying union jobs per year.

“The Green New Deal is not just about climate change. It is an economic plan to create millions of good-paying jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and invest in our country’s frontline and vulnerable communities. This bill shows that we can address our climate and affordable housing crises by making public housing a model of efficiency, sustainability, and resiliency,” says Sanders. 

The 54-paged bill is set to be fully introduced this afternoon at a press conference and already has the support from co-sponsors Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). 

“We need electrical workers. We need construction workers. And it doesn’t have to just be fossil fuel pipelines that create these kinds of jobs. We can create millions of jobs in this country by actually rising to the challenge of addressing what this crisis is going to represent,” states Ocasio-Cortez. 

In a summary released by Sanders: The bill would create seven grant programs under one application process to modernize our public housing stock through

  • Deep energy retrofits to increase energy savings in all 1.2 million public housing units;  
  • Addressing community workforce development needs by prioritizing good-paying job opportunities for residents;
  • Energy efficiency, building electrification and water quality upgrades; 
  • Community renewable energy generation, the profits of which will be controlled         by Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to boost their coffers and increase self- sufficiency; 
  • Recycling;
  • Community resiliency and sustainability;
  • Climate adaptation and emergency disaster response.

While gaining approval from mainstream Democrats and all Republicans in making this bill law is almost impossible, it truly sheds light on the kind of governing Sanders would do if he were to be elected 2020 President. 

According to Huffpost, the legislation also shows for the first time how national policy to slash climate-changing emissions can reduce poverty and racial inequity by targeting long-term investments at largely minority communities, cleaning up sickness-causing pollution and creating demand for jobs that would go to local communities.

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