SNL's Michael Che pays rent for 160 public housing tenants in late grandmother's old building
© Getty Images

“Saturday Night Live” comedian Michael Che said Wednesday that he is paying one month of rent for all 160 public housing tenants in the building in which his late grandmother once lived. 

“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,” Che wrote in an Instagram post. “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 ... building she lived in.” 

Che said his gesture is a “drop in the bucket” and he hopes the city has a “better plan for debt forgiveness for all people in public housing, AT THE VERY LEAST.” 


He urged New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNew York Post encourages everyone in city to get vaccinated Vaccines available to all over 60 at New York walk-in sites Yang gets key endorsement from former opponent in NYC mayor race MORE (D), New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoReporters criticize Andrew Cuomo for lack of media access in wake of scandals New York Post encourages everyone in city to get vaccinated Investigators in Cuomo impeachment probe receive 200 tips MORE (D) and rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs to join him in finding a solution. 

“Let’s fix this!” Che wrote. 

New York put in place a 90-day moratorium on evictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it does not wipe away the rent tenants owe landlords. More than 22 million people have filed for unemployment during the past several weeks, the Department of Labor reported early Thursday.

Che clarified in a comment that his grandmother had not lived in the building since around 1990, but he said the building is “very significant” in his family’s history. 

Che announced his grandmother died from COVID-19 on April 6 in a since-deleted Instagram post, Deadline reported

He also acknowledged his grandmother’s death in the latest episode of SNL, the first in which the cast put together the show from remote locations amid the coronavirus pandemic.