Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) unveiled their Green New Deal for housing plan on Thursday outside the Capitol. The proposal calls for an investment of $180 billion over 10 years to retrofit public housing with sustainable energy and eliminate all carbon emissions.
The housing units would meet the zero-emissions goal through the use of solar panels and renewable energy sources. The socialist lawmakers say the legislation would cut the carbon footprint of the country’s public housing units and improve quality of life for almost two million people.
“Today we are focusing on an issue that is too often is neglected,” Sanders said. “We are gonna be making massive cuts in carbon emissions by retrofitting and rebuilding public housing in this country. That is housing occupied by low-income and working-class Americans, occupied by senior citizens, occupied by people with disabilties,” Sanders said.
The bill is the socialist lawmakers’ newest announcement on how they plan to overhaul the economy and vastly expand the government, using climate change and economic inequality as justification.
“This bill shows that we can address our climate and affordable housing crises by making public housing a model of efficiency, sustainability, and resiliency. Importantly, the working people who have been most impacted by decades of disinvestment in public housing will be empowered to lead this effort and share in the economic prosperity that it generates for our country,” said Sanders in a statement.
The public housing plan is a part of the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal is a multi-trillion-dollar plan which has gone from a radical far-left proposal to one embraced by leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
“This bill will reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking off the road a million cars,” Sanders said.
The lawmakers claim that the plan introduced Thursday will increase economic growth in otherwise marginalized communities, create thousands of union jobs per year, and reduce energy costs for the public housing sector.
The bill outlines how it would create “sustainable communities for families” with a series of grant programs including for childcare, senior centers, clean transit, “healthy food options” and “community gardens.”
“The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act will train and mobilize the workforce to decarbonize the public housing stock and improve the quality of life for all residents. I am proud to begin the hard work of codifying the Green New Deal into law with my friend and colleague, Senator Bernie Sanders,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
The announcement does not include an explaination as to where the $180 billion in funding will come from.