Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Calgary's Socialist Housing Plan- HOME OWNERSHIP FOR ALL ( Marxsville by the bow?)

At first I was amazed that I actually thought something good was being proposed by Calgary mayor Dave Bronconnier this week, when he announced he was studying a plan to build housing for low income Calgarians on various vacant school sites across Calgary. But as I read on, I realized that this was not necessarily an initiative to combat homelessness at all.

The mayor talks of building up to 1000 home units as an "entry" into home ownership for Calgary's essential workers ( Firefighters, Police, Teachers, EMS etc..). This plan will allow people to PAY BASED ON THIER INCOME, noting that THEY WOULD OWN THIER UNIT. Basing the model on similar programs being run in California like this one, Bronco figures that this is a great idea.

Wait a minute.... he later goes on to say that these units will help end homelessness as it will help people move "up the property ladder from subsidized units into their own homes". I am this a plan to help middle income earners buy homes that are out of their price range? Or is this a plan to address the needs of the thousands of low-middle income Calgarians who cannot find affordable places to RENT? Either way...something does not click here...

This city cannot even get a plan to help get the chronic homeless out of the shelters, but think that they can magically cure everything by getting everyone to own their own home? To be blunt, Home Ownership is not for everyone and it is not also a god-given right either. ( I do believe that having a roof over your head is a basic human right, but owning that roof is another story.)

On a personal level, I grew up under very, very modest means and support the idea of subsidized rental housing, but why should my taxes be used to support HOME OWNERSHIP to people who cannot afford to own a home? I bought my 1st home in 2000 (at the age of 23), and everyone thought I was crazy to do such a thing. There were no Tax Dollars to support me or the thousands of other Calgarians who were buying their first homes. We can look no further to the US Housing crisis to see the damage caused by people who bought homes that they could not afford.

I know its premature, but I can already envision the names of these new neighborhoods....

Marxville by the Bow... Che's Villas..... Chavez Chalets... Stalin Heights... Layton's Landing?

As with most of Bronco's Socialist Ideals, the details are always lacking. I am curious to see who will be funding this and how it will be run? In the meantime, lets hope he plans on kicking back some of the property taxes that he collected from young Calgarians who bought their homes "when they were just starting out."



  1. Point agrred on, no issue with subsidized rents for the people that needed but I also stop at subsidized home ownership. The only possible way if the value is locked. People who need to get help can build up equity but not be rewarded with capital gains. Once the origional family decides their econoic situation has improved then the home goes back to the pool for another derserving family.
    We have to elimainate speculation from the housing supply

  2. Unbelievable!! That frosts my butt. I purchased my first home when I was a single mom quite a few years ago...nobody helped me - I saved for it and went from there. The U.S. is a prime example of a subsidized mess. The demise of the U.S. economy can be blamed on investment banks and greed, however, the average Joes were buying homes they realistically and sustainably could not afford. Now the U.S. taxpayer is subsidizing their ability to stay in those homes. What a slap in the face to those people who were responsible and purchased their home with a real down payment, are meeting their obligations and receive no help to pay their overly high mortgages. You are right, home ownership is not an is something you save for. You buy when you can afford to buy - until then you rent. ... and instant gratification was never part of the plan!

  3. In Medicine Hat, it was all over the papers when Classic Communities got involved and set up 2 or 3 estates around the city. It was widely advertised as low-cost housing to purchase, helping home owners, etc. I blogged recently about how in early 2007, these homes were going for $95,000 but now they are going for around $200,000. Gee what a shocker! And so much for it being affordable! What a load of ....

  4. Correct me if I'm wrong, but usually given the circumstances is it not safe to say, taxes subsidize everything in the city, thus making it a socialist community nontheless. Why cannot under privaledged persons be allowed to get a helping hand from the community by aiding them in establishing a proper lifestyle, rather than falling into a life of poverty and crime. I'm sure that if the programme was around earlier a majority of people would take advantage of assisted living.