Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I REALLY Hate Admitting This

UPDATE: In response to Benson Bear's comments.

Craig Oliver is discussing how nice it will be that Jack Layton and Olivia Chow will be working together in Ottawa. And to be honest, I have always found the stuff they say pretty sappy, and yet very appealing.
(As a side point my wife and I live most of our time in different cities because of the locations of our jobs.)
And I hate saying this even more, but when Layton and Chow have discussed their relationship, it has never sounded sleazy and political to me. While they have done lot of other dubious stuff (mindless rants about private provisioning of healthcare, while using it, whether knowingly or not) that pathetic sort of exploitation I do not assign to them.
By the way the City of Toronto has won a ton. Olivia Chow and Marilyn Churley are gone! And all the feds have to pay is Chow.

LATER UPDATE: Having followed up some more on Benson Bear's comments, I want to thank him/her very much and point readers to a discussion of the issue in this entry on Layton. I remain very pleased they can be together and are no longer wasting Toronto tax money on their pet projects.


At 1:11 AM, Blogger BensonBear said...

I'm not so sure that the Wikipedia article is that accurate. Hence a few more details: there is nothing at all about co-op housing that conceptually entails any form of subsidy at all. Co-op housing in that sense is no different from any other kind of co-op. However, co-op advocates claim, with good reason, that co-op housing can be provided, in the long run, more cheaply than comparable for-profit housing. But it's hard to get started. So various forces in the co-op movement managed to bring about the passage of legislation that helps co-ops with start up subsidies that are designed to fade out over time, partly in exchange for accepting a certain fraction of people who cannot pay a market rent for their unit, with this fraction subsidized as individuals in a separate subsidy. Studies have suggested that this is a cheaper way of providing reasonable quality subsidized housing (preventing ghettoization precisely because the somewhat better off people that live there have more resources (in terms of social capital for example) to provent it) and reasonable quality self-supporting low-end market rent housing as well.

In many if not most older co-ops, the global subsidy has ended, and the only subsidy in existence goes to the subsidized units. There is no way that Layton was living in one of those units, and it also seems unlikely, given the age of the building, that it was still receving a global subsidy. I live in a co-op and it is not any way subsidized by the government any longer. About 25% of individual members have the rent of their own units subsidized, but this is kept completely separate: the co-op covers its budget completely from the market rents it receives and it cannot afford to raise these since the majority of people living there would vote that down.

That Layton chose to live in a co-op fits with his ideology, and it on the whole was probably more of a net benefit to the co-op than it was to him, especially given what is apparently his supererogatory donation to the co-op funds. (Note that co-op members are also required to provide a certain amount of labour to the co-op as well -- that is one reason that their rents can be lower, although in truth, most people are too lazy to bother and they get away with it, since there are the typical types you can imagine who just love running things...).

The whole episode with Layton and co-ops is basically just a witch hunt.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Thanks! This is all helpful.


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