Michael Che Pays Rent for 160 People

Gift honors his grandmother, who died from COVID-19
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2020 11:00 AM CDT
Michael Che Pays Rent for 160 People
This Feb. 29, 2020, photo shows Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che during the "Weekend Update" sketch on "Saturday Night Live."   (Will Heath/NBC via AP)

Michael Che made sure everyone knew he was "Martha's grandbaby" during a weekend appearance on Saturday Night Live, in which he spoke about the grandmother who'd died of complications from COVID-19. Now he's honoring her in a big way. The SNL co-head writer took to Instagram Wednesday to announce he was paying a month's rent for 160 residents of his grandmother's public housing complex in New York City. "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. The average monthly rent was $522 as of 2018, per Deadline.

Che said the gift "in the spirit and memory of my late grandmother" was "just a drop in the bucket." "I really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness for all the people in public housing, at the very least," he wrote, calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, and rapper Diddy to help "fix this." He'd announced the death of his grandmother in an April 6 Instagram post, since deleted. "I'm obviously very hurt and angry that she had to go through all that pain alone. But I'm also happy that she's not in pain anymore," and "I'm doing OK, considering," he wrote, per the Hollywood Reporter. (Read more Michael Che stories.)

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