Michael Che is doing what New York’s government won’t: Helping people survive the economic hardships of the coronavirus pandemic
With the coronavirus pandemic still sweeping the country, more and more people are being economically affected by lockdowns and quarantines that have shuttered businesses and kept people from being able to work. There are more and more calls in cities all over the country for governments to step in and help people pay their rent, but so far, no official relief has been given. But now, comedian Michael Che is coming through for some New Yorkers.
In a post on Instagram, Che remembered his late grandmother, who once lived in public housing in New York City and recently passed away from coronavirus, and others he knows are struggling in the current economic climate.
“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 month’s rent for all 160 apartments in the NYCHA building she lived in.”
Che’s grandmother hadn’t lived in that building since the 1990s, but it’s clear her time in public housing still impacts the comedian. His choice to help others in a similar financial position to his grandmother has plenty of people praising Che in the comments on the post.
Che continued, “I know that’s 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.”
Che ended his post with a call to New York’s politicians to help people who are really struggling financially right now.
“Deblasio! Cuomo! Diddy! Let’s fix this! Page me!” he wrote.
Several New York senators have discussed introducing rent relief legislation, but so far, no official moves have been made. The state is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., accounting for roughly one third of the more than 600,000 confirmed cases we now have nationwide. The state is beginning to see signs that it’s past the peak of new infections, and leaders are looking toward reopening cities. But experts warn that the pandemic is far from over, and the economic impacts of this shutdown will be extreme and far-reaching.