Progressive Democrats Unveil Plan to Revolutionize Housing and Create Jobs

Progressive Democrats have laid out plans for a housing bill that would allegedly solve the housing crisis and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Here are the details.

Relaunch of Housing Proposal

On Thursday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the relaunch of her housing proposal alongside other members of “The Squad,” a group of eight left-wing progressive Democrats. 

Billing it as her version of the Green New Deal but for housing, Ocasio-Cortez stated that it “will allow for an increase in public housing units, create an estimated 280,000 jobs, and invest up to $23 billion a year over ten years for highly energy-efficient developments.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal would repeal the Faircloth Amendment, which prevents the expansion of public housing in the U.S. Because of the Faircloth Amendment, the government cannot maintain more public housing than there was in 1999 – 1.8 million to be exact. 

Impact of Faircloth Amendment

Progressives have rallied against this law for years, as it effectively stops the construction of public housing, which in turn affects the government’s ability to provide affordable housing and address the housing and homelessness crisis gripping the U.S.

Ocasio-Cortez rallied against rent gouging and the housing market, explaining, “What’s broken policy is relying solely on the market and solely on billionaires in order to produce and extort everyday people of every dime that we have, in charging the highest rent possible.”

Addressing Rent Gouging

Joined by Jamaal Bowman, a representative for New York’s 16th District, Ocasio-Cortez explained that this new bill represents that “a different world is not only possible; a different world is arriving today.”

Bowman took the stage and explained how he was raised in public housing, then said, “Housing is a human right. The rent is too damn high, y’all.” 

“It is plantation capitalism to have someone paying 40, 50, 60 percent of their salary towards rent,” Bowman said before proposing a 20% cap on rent based on a person’s salary. Bowman explained, “The Green New Deal for public housing is a form of reparations for marginalized communities.”

Transitioning to Eco-Friendly Housing

The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act aims to swiftly transition all public housing in the United States into eco-friendly, energy-efficient developments. This involves providing on-site renewable energy, expanding workforce programs, and promoting family self-sufficiency. 

Key provisions include:

  • Expanding federal programs to offer residents meaningful work opportunities, financial independence, and a say in housing management.
  • Strengthening resident councils to ensure residents have a voice in important decisions.
  • Investing in public housing infrastructure by replenishing capital funds and removing barriers to new construction.

Grant Programs for Modernization

Furthermore, the bill establishes grant programs to modernize public housing, focusing on:

  • Deep energy retrofits to increase energy efficiency.
  • Upgrading energy, water, and building systems.
  • Encouraging community renewable energy generation and recycling.
  • Enhancing community resilience, sustainability, and disaster response.

Democratic Values and Goals

This comprehensive approach seeks to improve living conditions, empower residents, and combat climate change in public housing communities. 

Its focus on self-sufficiency and community is a reflection of Democratic values, while the emphasis on sustainability and renewable energy aligns with broader Democratic goals of addressing climate change and promoting environmental conservation.

Bernie Sanders helped reintroduce the legislation and stated that it was a “major step in the right direction.” He went on to state, “It is unacceptable that, in the richest country in the history of the world, people are choosing between paying rent and putting food on the table.”

Endorsements and Support

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal for Public Housing Act has been endorsed by over 80 different organizations, including the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Center for Popular Democracy Action, and Green City Force.

Critics have slammed the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act as performative politics. They argue that it’s unlikely to pass in a divided Republican-majority Congress and point to previous failures to get the bill moving as proof.

For her part, Ocasio-Cortez has stated she wants to “send this message very clearly, not just to all of Congress, but including the leadership of the Democratic Party. There’s a lot of different things to address, social housing mortgages, interest rates, but any true housing policy must include a commitment to public housing point blank, period.”

The post Progressive Democrats Unveil Plan to Revolutionize Housing and Create Jobs first appeared on Swift Feed.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Wangkun.

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