Michael Che offered to pay one month’s rent for every resident of the public housing building where his grandmother lived before she passed away on April 5 after contracting COVID-19.
The “Weekend Update” host and SNL head writer made the announcement on Instagram with a screenshot of a note. It begins with Che expressing disbelief that residents of public housing in New York are still required to pay rent during the economic catastrophe caused by the pandemic that took his grandmother’s life.
Che wrote that the gesture was made “in the spirit and memory of his late grandmother.” He is offering to cover rent for the 160 apartments in the NYCHA — New York City Housing Authority — building where she lived in the 1990s.
Che acknowledged that his offer is “just a drop in the bucket. [S]o I really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness for all the people in public housing, AT THE VERY LEAST.”
He added a postscript calling on New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Diddy to help fix the situation. De Blasio said in late March that he would “immediately” pursue a rent moratorium in New York City, while Cuomo maintains that the eviction moratorium solved the problem despite the fact that it’s simply a delay and not permanent relief.
On a more personal note, Che also took the time to pay tribute to his grandmother on SNL. On last Saturday’s inaugural “SNL at Home,” he signed off of “Weekend Update” as “Martha’s grandbaby.”