Mr. Lewis writes about what he calls "single-family residence neighborhoods," apparently basing his comments on his own neighborhood [“Poor and Poorer,” Aug. 18 Xpress]. Implicit in his comments are some generalizations about "renters" and what he calls "have-nots."
He notes that he has been troubled by "at least" five houses that have been rented to "several unrelated occupants". He doesn't mention how many houses in total there are in his "neighborhood" (20, 50, 200?), or how many rental units house "unrelated occupants." He also doesn't mention if any dwellings housing a single family have been problematic (grass too high).
I grew up in a rental apartment and don't feel that being a renter sharing space with others in a single building makes one a worse person than an individual who resides in a single-family home that he or she owns.
[Lewis] also contrasts what he calls the "have-nots" with "folks who've worked hard.” I know "folks who work hard" who I would call "have-nots," so I don't consider that a valid contrast. "Haves" and "have-nots" or "folks who've worked hard" and "folks who haven't worked hard" are valid contrasts.
I do [agree] that neighborhoods [can] be nice places to live in. As a neighborhood advocate, he can help strengthen ties between his fellow residents, helping to solve problems.
— Stephen Rinsler