With the release today of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Framework, America is taking a powerful step toward ending childhood lead poisoning and ensuring that lead’s toxic legacy will be eradicated from hundreds of thousands of older homes across the United States. The $150 billion in funding will be the single largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing in our country’s history.
It will make critical investments in our lowest income communities to create healthy, safe and energy efficient homes that will have an immediate positive impact on health and racial equity. These investments will go a long way to address generational environmental injustices in the more than 30 million American homes in which families wake up every day to face the threat of lead poisoning, respiratory disease and high energy costs, giving rise to more equitable and healthy futures.
The funds will also address the capital needs of the public housing stock in large cities and rural communities to ensure it is not only safe and habitable but healthier and more energy efficient. The Build Back Better legislation will create more equitable communities, through investing in community-led redevelopments projects in historically under-resourced neighborhoods and as noted directly invests in the removal of lead-based paint in hundreds of thousands of homes.
Further, through the $555 billion dedicated to clean energy and carbon reduction, a portion of these investments will go to ensuring that low and moderate-income families benefit from energy efficiency, clean energy, and de-carbonization. In partnership with the communities GHHI serves, these investments will put the U.S. on a path to meet its goal of reducing GHG emissions by 50-52% by 2030 – which is critical to preventing the worst impacts of climate change that disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities and limited income communities.
We commend and enthusiastically support the Biden Administration for focusing on the issues of lead poisoning prevention, healthy housing, energy efficiency and climate. If fully adopted by Congress, Build Back Better creates a pathway to healthier and more equitable opportunities for our children and the communities we serve.
GHHI will continue to dig into the details of the plan and its final adoption and will provide timely updates across all of its media platforms. And while this does not provide all the funding needed to solve our housing and climate crises, it is a bold step forward to recalibrating this nation’s commitment to protecting our most vulnerable children and families and broadening fair and equitable futures.