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I mentioned the audit of the 2nd NW Co-op to a friend and she responded, "that isn't right." And we had a difference of opinion. She thought that once you make a certain amount, you should leave and open up a space for someone else. I don't think people should be punished for economic success.

Also co-ops are weird things. There are plenty of them in New York City, where I gather people have a better sense of what they are all about. Co-ops are not like condos. My aunt owns a condo, she owns her unit, she has a mortgage on her unit, she owns the walls inside her unit. Co-ops are where you don't own your unit. Your membership grants you the right to rent your unit.

In my last semester of college I lived in a student co-op right off campus. I didn't own any part of the co-op. I just had the right to live there and the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning in the co-op kitchen. I also signed something saying they could bug me for money in the future. The rent was really cheap, and they were awfully close to campus, so I stayed there.

But back to non-student co-ops. There are non-equity co-operatives, where members do not get any equity in the co-op. This seems like a disincentive to make great improvements or updates. But the idea behind that is to keep units affordable. So they wouldn't reach market rate rents because there is no incentive for the co-op board to make those investments that would justify higher rents. Yet the rents currently being charged are crazy low considering members have parking.

Oh yeah, there is parking, precious, precious parking. Ever notice that most of the low income, subsidized places in Shaw have big ole parking lots? Gibson, both NW Co-ops, 1330, etc. A parking space is worth about $200 a month around here. Cars really shouldn't be subsized any more than all cars in the US are already. But that's another topic for another day.

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How can one live a ghetto-bling fabulus lifestyle if one has to pay normal urban rates for parking one's luxury car or rent that is in line with one's six figure income?

This type of thing is what gives Republicans fuel for arguments that schemes to help the poor and needy nurture bad behavior and abuse of the system -- and ultimately f things up for the truly needy. The Obama Administration has spoken out against such abuse, let's see if the DC Democrats are going to crack down on this and route out the corruption.

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