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Saving For a Space Ship

Us Unveils $4bn Plan To Upgrade Public Housing, Part Of Green Jobs Project

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Edit: In addition - Bbc News 24 just had a news piece saying Us house prices had fallen at the highest rate on record. They reported from Vegas.

Tuesday 26 May 2009 18.14

The Obama administration unveiled a $4bn (£2.5bn) plan to upgrade public housing for low-income Americans today, as part of an ambitious green job-creation project.

Obama sent the vice-president, Joe Biden, and other senior officials to Denver for a formal announcement of the renovation scheme, which will replace windows, insulation and even light bulbs in ageing and neglected housing stock.

The labour secretary, Hilda Solis, was also expected to announce $500m to train up workers for the new jobs. Of those funds, $50m will be directed to regions that have been hardest hit by the recession – such as the rustbelt state of Michigan where the unemployment rate is now 12%.

The funds mark the first phase of the green job creation plan envisaged in Obama's $787bn economic recovery plan. Officials said that attempts would be made to train local people for the work.

"This president is committed to literally millions of jobs in this sector over the course of his term," Van Jones, the White House adviser on green jobs, said. Jones was also expected at the meeting in Denver. He said the renovations of public housing stock would account for about 40% of the funds set aside by Obama to improve energy use in government buildings.

"This is not some abstract, theoretical thing. By the end of the year you are going to see people who have no jobs, high-energy bills and no hope get jobs and see opportunity," he said.

The administration envisages a plan where home owners will arrange to have their homes retrofitted for greater energy efficiency simply by ticking a box on their utility bill, and then have the cost of the renovations factored into their bills.

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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