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Monday, April 15, 2024

Green New Deal would invest billions to renovate public housing

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR)— Lawmakers say many of the nation’s public housing residents are living in substandard conditions because the government won’t pay to maintain the homes. They reintroduced a bill that would invest billions of dollars to improve living conditions for millions of people living in public housing.

New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says public housing is in a crisis.

“We have to return to an era of rebuilding public housing in the United States,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

She and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have reintroduced a bill to invest more than $160 billion to renovate public housing and make it energy efficient.

“We need to mobilize millions of people to demand that every American has decent and affordable housing and at the same time we address the existential crisis of climate change,” said Sanders.

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey says the bill also seeks to end a 1998 federal law which prevents the construction of new public housing.

“New public housing has been blocked by outdated federal and state laws,” said Markey.

The U.S.  government says more than 1.7 million Americans rely on public housing, but a lack of investment has allowed many of these homes to fall into disrepair and created a maintenance backlog.

“It’s time that we stop ignoring them,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito agrees there is a housing shortage but isn’t ready to sign onto the “Green New Deal for Public Housing”.

“We’re never going to get what we want if we keep loading up these regulations. What does green housing mean?” asked Moore Capito.

The bill is expected to face pushback in both the House and the Senate.

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