Renters who are out of work because of the coronavirus need help to pay for housing

I’m lucky to still be working, but the state and city must help those who have lost their jobs and their ability to pay rent.

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A rental sign on a suburban street.

A rental sign on a suburban street.

File photo

I am a Chicagoan currently self-isolating, and I feel very lucky. Many of my neighbors lost their jobs last week when the governor closed down restaurants. It was the right thing to do but won’t help my favorite neighborhood bartender who is a single mom of four amazing kids all now out of school, and all now facing hunger and eviction.

I’m lucky — my hourly job has switched to work from home. But I’m also asthmatic, and if I get sick, I’ll almost definitely be hospitalized and unable to work. My landlord is also lucky. I live in a building in Rogers Park where my apartment is owned by one of our state’s billionaires. My $800-per-month rent won’t impact her ability to pay the mortgage on the building, or pay her rent or put food on her table. And yet in my mixed-income neighborhood with a literal billionaire landlord, we still haven’t heard anything about rent flexibility or a pause on evictions.

My neighbors who work in the service industry, and their landlords who can barely pay the mortgage with rental income, are not as lucky. It’s far past time for the city and state to do something to stabilize renters during this pandemic.

Monica Carmean, Rogers Park

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Trump, prince of buffoonery

In every president’s term of office, there will be a time when he or she is put to a massive test the likes of which could not possibly be foreseen at the time he assumed our nation’s highest post. Great presidents — hell, great leaders — summon from inside themselves the finest elements of humanity in order to face unanticipated calamity with intelligence and foresight, fortitude and purpose, and calmness, and truth, and morality.

It is almost an act of divinity when a great country has at its head such a person to lead the way in its supreme struggle to climb out of the morass of disaster. Think FDR, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Winston Churchill. It is to the detriment of us all — liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, hell, the entire planet — that we are saddled with a prince of buffoonery named Donald Trump, who only days ago finally acknowledged the dire situation we are in with the coronavirus, after clinging for weeks to the foolish notion that it would quickly blow over, squandering valuable time and resources and endangering us all.

And then to top it all off, awarding himself 10 out of 10 for the way he is handling this crisis.

Rob Hirsh, North Ridge

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