Toronto Councillor Jack Layton and his companion spouse Councillor Olivia Chow are living in low-cost housing. Together the two earn $120,000 in municipal salaries alone.

This was the story the Toronto Star broke on June 15. The next day the Toronto Sun found three other well-paid New Democrats living off taxpayers’ money: Dan Heap, MP; Roger Hollander, Metro Councillor and Marilyn Churley, City Councillor.

All five pay $800 a month rent for two or three bedroom units, while they have incomes ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 per month, a percentage of which is tax-free. Their public service salaries alone, not to mention income form investments or other sources, ranges form $62,000 (Churley) to $120,000 (Layton-Chow) annually.

The low-cost housing rents are low because Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., the federal government’s housing arm, provides all co-ops with no down payment mortgages at a low 2 per cent interest rate.

In the past the NDP has been very righteous about housing, constantly accusing province and city for not providing sufficient non-profit housing. Jack Layton, who wants to be mayor of Toronto, sponsored the low-cost housing unit where he lives today.

Layton even had the gall to defend his $800 a month seven-room apartment on the grounds that housing cooperatives should have a mix of family incomes. Toronto has a waiting list of 17,000 seeking low-cost housing.