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Sanders, AOC to Introduce Over $100 Billion Plan to Make Public Housing Environmentally Friendly

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, June 12, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) plan to introduce legislation on Thursday that makes public housing more energy efficient, at a cost of over $100 billion.

The plan, dubbed the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, will call for renovation of public housing units to install community gardens and organic grocery stores along with on-site childcare services, according to the Washington Post. Data for Progress, a progressive think tank, has estimated the cost of the program at between $119-$172 billion over the next decade.

“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,” Sanders said in a statement. Ocasio-Cortez said the legislation will “train and mobilize the workforce to decarbonize the public housing stock.”

In February of this year, Ocasio-Cortez released with Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) the “Green New Deal” plan to reduce carbon emissions across the U.S. to net zero within ten years and to eliminate completely the fossil fuel industry within the same time frame. The plan was widely pilloried by conservatives as well as many Democrats for being impractical.

“The green dream or whatever they call it,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at the time, “nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

“It is difficult to take this unrealistic manifesto seriously, but the economic and social devastation it would cause if it moves forward is serious and real,” said Terry O’Sullivan, the president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, when the plan was released.

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