Michael Che said he’ll pay rent for all of the people who live in his late grandmother’s New York City building, which is a part of public housing.
The “Saturday Night Live” member gave the news on Instagram Wednesday, 10 days after he revealed that his grandmother Martha passed away from COVID-19 complications.
“It’s crazy to me that residents of public housing are still expected to pay their rent when so many New Yorkers can’t even work,” he wrote. “Obviously I can’t offer much help by myself. But in the spirit and memory of my late grandmother, I’m paying one months rent for all 160 apartments in the NYCHA building she lived in.”
“I know that’s just a drop in the bucket. So I really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness for all the people in public housing, at the very least,” added Che.
A lot of people thanked Che for his generosity in the comments of his post afterward.
“A very beautiful and kind thing to do. Your grandma is very proud of you,” one person wrote.
New York City’s COVID-19 death count reportedly went past the 10,000 mark as of Wednesday, April 15. That number comes after 3,778 people who never got tested for the virus but have presumably passed away from it were added to the death toll.
Johns Hopkins University tallied more than 223,000 cases of the disease throughout New York state by early Friday morning.
A large number of people are unemployed in New York City — just like in other places around the country — while rents are still expected to be paid.
Earlier this week, de Blasio asked the state to get involved to help those struggling financially.
“I urge the state to act to allow renters to use their security deposits to pay rent,” de Blasio said at a recent news conference. “There’s no reason at this point, given how much dislocation has occurred, that a security deposit is sitting in a bank account, not helping anyone, when it could be used to pay the rent, help the renter, help the landlord have money to pay their expenses.”
Che isn’t the only person who’s helping underserved communities during the outbreak. Taraji P. Henson recently said she’ll be offering people access to free mental health via the telephone through her Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation.