On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) released the first Green New Deal bill and it aims to make public housing more environmentally friendly.
The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act proposes to transform the 1.2 million public housing units in the country by repairing them and upgrading their health and safety features, including eliminating carbon emissions.
During the projected 10-year process to complete the proposal, public housing would receive grants to go toward instilling clean energy, solar panels and other renewable energy sources, like all-electric modern appliances, energy-efficient light bulbs and low-flow toilets to reduce water usage.
The lawmakers said the $172 billion plan would create around 240,000 jobs per year and reduce greenhouse emissions.
For Ocasio-Cortez, who introduced the Green New Deal in March alongside Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), focusing the first bill of her resolution on low-income communities is intentional. Reports have consistently found that impoverished communities of color are often the most negatively impacted by climate change, facing higher instances of droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes, and also experience disproportionate health issues.
“This is how we show that taking the climate crisis is an opportunity for us to create an economic stimulus and an economic boon not just for Wall Street but for working people,” the New York congresswoman said Thursday during a news conference on Capitol Hill.
In the last few months, AOC’s Green New Deal has increased in popularity. Vox reports that 60 percent of registered voters support it, including 86 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Independents.
The proposal is less popular among Republicans who have criticized it for being “socialist” and mocked that it would suspend air travel.