Opinion | Congress Needs to Help Tenants and Landlords

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To the Editor:

Re “Eviction Moratorium Won’t Cover the Rent for Tenants or Landlords” (The Upshot, Sept. 4):

A recent evictions moratorium from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a temporary and incomplete remedy that only delays the devastating problems for both tenants and landlords. The American Bar Association is urging Congress to pursue a three-step approach to address the problem: by enacting a moratorium on evictions and by providing rent relief to tenants and mortgage help to landlords.

Addressing housing instability with an eviction moratorium is critical. But ignoring rent relief and mortgage assistance would leave tenants saddled with back-rent payments and require landlords to shoulder significant financial expenses. Individual investors own about 22 million out of 48 million rental units in the housing market. These “mom and pop” landlords primarily own single-family rentals and small apartment properties and are still incurring the costs of upkeep on their properties.

We are asking Congress to appropriate the $100 billion in rental assistance needed to prevent housing instability. The need is urgent, and relief is overdue.

Patricia Lee Refo
Phoenix
The writer is president of the American Bar Association.

‘I Cannot Vote for This President’

To the Editor:

I am a retired Air Force officer.

My husband is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

I was a lifelong Republican.

This president said, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

And he still doesn’t. Seven million Americans have fallen ill; tens of thousands have perished because he takes no responsibility.

He lies.

He fails.

He denigrates those who served our country with honor.

He has no honor.

I cannot vote for this president.

Bonnie Hallman
Greensboro, N.C.

Vans for Coronavirus Tests

To the Editor:

Re “Quick Testing, if You Can Pay the Steep Cost” (front page, Aug. 31):

This otherwise fine piece unfortunately didn’t include the fact that in many areas it is impossible to get a test without a motor vehicle. This leaves some of the most vulnerable without medical care.

The elderly who live alone, the visually impaired, the folks who can’t afford a car are all at risk. If they have symptoms they are told to be tested but not to take public transport, or hail rides or taxis. In some spots bicycles are acceptable, but the thought of a symptomatic 90-year-old biking to a drive-in test is mind-boggling.

Mobile vans operated by E.M.T.s or nurse practitioners who could test the fragile in their driveways or front doorways and evaluate their needs would help.

E.J. Wagner
Stony Brook, N.Y.

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