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With massive unemployment compounding D.C.’s high cost of living, nearly half of the city’s tenants are under rent burden. The burden is unequal. According to the Urban Institute, 1 in 4 non-White tenants in the region deferred or missed paying last month’s rent.

Some tenants in the region say their landlords are still hounding them for rent, and they are getting in hostile confrontations over nonpayment. And these same landlords are receiving hundreds of thousands in federal loans. 

For this week’s cover story, City Paper’s Morgan Baskin investigated who is really in need of aid. 

“What’s funny to me is that the argument all these landlords are making when they’re pressuring tenants and assigning payment plans is, ‘We need your money to pay management, we need your money to make sure that, like, the building runs smoothly,” says Stephanie Bastek, a DC Tenants Union board member. “And that seems like a total lie.”

Read the full cover story online HERE.

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)      

  • At Thursday’s press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that her chief medical examiner, Roger Mitchell, will serve as the interim deputy mayor for public safety and justice after Kevin Donahue took over as interim city administrator. [Twitter]

  • As of Aug. 19, D.C. reported one additional death related to COVID-19 and 55 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers to 601 and 13,409 respectively. [EOM

  • Maryland and Virginia requested a $300 boost in unemployment benefits from the federal government. D.C. has yet to apply, citing concerns about the program’s legality and sustainability. [DCist]

  • A children’s advocacy nonprofit that fights child abuse and neglect says its Maryland centers saw a 25 percent drop in reports and its Virginia centers reported a 21 percent drop, while its D.C. center saw only a 3 percent dip. [Post

  • DC Housing Authority filed permits to authorize complete demolition at Park Morton to prepare for development. Razing is expected to begin next year. Residents living at the public housing complex are concerned about displacement. [Urban Turf]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Ed Hanlon may have single-handedly destroyed local government’s Twitter usage. [WCP]

  • A new app allows D.C. residents to recertify for food stamps. [Post]

  • Issues with D.C.’s 911 call system have prompted a potential audit. [DCist]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • For hospitality industry professionals who’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19, the pandemic is doubly debilitating. [WCP]

  • The owner of Mikkotook a two week vacation, contracted COVID-19, and didn’t properly quarantine. [Eater DC]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall(tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Six local artists talk about the inspiration for their HEMPHILL coloring book pieces, and what they’ve been working on in quarantine. [WCP]

  • Tesla tries to reinvent the biopic genre, our critic writes. [WCP]

  • Mayor Bowser wore local artist Josue Martinez’s shirt design at the DNC and now his orders have increased. [DCist]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Losing college football in the fall is the latest consequence of the country’s inadequate coronavirus response. [WCP]

  • Scott Brooks will return as the Wizards’ head coach as he enters the final year of his five-year contract.

  • Two women have alleged that former Washington Football Team running back Derrius Guice raped them while he was in college. [USA Today]

  • Frances Tiafoeimplores everyone to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously. [Players’ Tribune]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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