By Contributing Writer Caroline Quirk
The quest for a more sustainable future is coming to the forefront! Just this week Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) proposed the Green New Deal for the Public Housing Act.
The proposal of the Green New Deal would slash emissions, stop years of neglect, and overall improve the lives of American citizens. Additionally, the bill could cut 5.6 million tons of carbon emissions (equivalent of taking 1.2 million cars off the road) and create 240,000 jobs.
As of now, public housing in the US is a disaster, with 1.2 million units of federally subsidized homes that have not been repaired nor upgraded in decades. This results in public health disasters such as families and individuals having to live without heat or running water in the dead of winter.
What will this Green New Deal bill actually do? With the cost of the project ranging anywhere between $119 to $172 billion over the course of 10 years, the real question is what wont this bill be doing?
AOC and Sanders in their Green New Deal will provide public housing properties with healthier grocery stores, community gardens and childcare centers to turn federally owned public housing properties into functional communities.
While complying to the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards, the bill will provide funding for basic needs such as electrification and appliance upgrades to fix issues such as the public’s drinking water, which has proven to be a crucial issue in lower-income family homes.
Don’t worry, they didn’t forget about renewable energy. The program would distribute money to public housing authorities that want to generate their own renewable energy. These authorities could keep 90% of the money made off their renewable energy, from which the residents have a say in what is done with that share of money.
Another huge part of the renewable energy section is that aims to help the US achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This includes upgrading the country’s power grid and upgrading the infrastructure to climate-friendly and climate-resilient technology.
Though this bill is brand new and does not yet have the attention needed to become feasible in the very near future, it is a huge step toward the right direction. AOC and Sanders are teaming up to make sure that The Green New Deal is not only beneficial to the citizens of the US but that it is crucial in helping to solve the current climate crisis.