Janeese Lewis George represents Ward 4 on the D.C. Council. (WI file photo)
Janeese Lewis George represents Ward 4 on the D.C. Council. (WI file photo)

D.C. Council member Janeese Lewis George has introduced two bills that localize the national conversation on the Green New Deal that focuses on making the U.S. a more energy-efficient country and better effectively dealing with climate change.

Last month, George introduced the “Green New Deal for Housing Act” which would create sustainable, climate-neutral social housing. According to George’s bill, social housing has garnered nationwide attention as publicly-owned, mixed-income housing for low- and middle-income earners. Rent payments, reinvested, would result in lower costs for tenants and allow more social housing units to be built in the District, based on her assessment. 

“Social housing is the critical missing piece in confronting our severe affordable housing crisis,” said George, a Ward 4 Democrat. “By putting the profits and the power in the hands of people, we can generate more of the affordable housing that is so desperately needed in D.C., while also aligning our housing policies with the urgent need to mitigate climate change.”

The social housing legislation has been co-introduced by Council members Trayon White, Sr., (D-Ward 8), Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), Anita Bonds (D-At Large), Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2) and Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1).

George’s other bill, Green New Deal for a Lead-Free DC, would expedite the removal of hazardous lead water service lines on public and private land in the city, while expanding the lead remediation specialist workforce with a new job training program through the DC Infrastructure Academy.

“We know the serious health risks of exposure to lead and the burden of removing lead pipes fall hardest on Black and brown residents,” the council member said. “Streamlining lead service line removal is a racial justice issue and can simultaneously deliver good green jobs that inject opportunity in our communities.”

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