Michael Che says he will pay rent for all the residents at a New York City Housing Authority building where his grandmother once lived to honor her after she passed away from coronavirus complications.
The "Saturday Night Live" comedian made the announcement in an Instagram post on Wednesday, saying "its crazy to me that residents of public housing are still expected to pay their rent when so many new yorkers cant even work.” So he's offering to cover one month's rent for 160 units in the complex.
Che continued to say "i know thats 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." He then called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to act.
De Blasio said in late March that he would "immediately" pursue the idea of a rent moratorium in New York City but there has not been much action from the city or the state.
State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) said he will introduce a 90-day rent relief bill for New Yorkers and NYC borough presidents introduced "Renter's Choice" plan requiring landlords to allow renters to apply their security deposit for rent. Neither of the plans have gone into effect.
While the 36-year-old's grandmother had not lived in public housing since the 90s, Che said he chose to help because the building is very significant in his family's history.