New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, and accordingly, one man is making a huge difference to relieve the stress for many residents in Brooklyn.
Mario Salerno, a landlord who owns 80 apartment units in the Big Apple borough, posted a notice on the front doors of his buildings reading, “Due to the recent pandemic of Coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month for April.”
On some of the signs, he wrote, “STAY SAFE, HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS & WASH YOUR HANDS!!!”
The 59-year-old Salerno owns the dozens of apartments that reportedly house 200 to 300 tenants in total in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods. He told NBC New York that he made the decision to cancel this month’s rent when he learned that a number of his tenants said they were having a hard time getting by during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want everybody to be healthy,” said Salerno. “That’s the whole thing.”
He also told the New York Times that his biggest hope is that the rent cancellation will help put food on the tables of his tenants.
“I told them just to look out for your neighbor and make sure that everyone has food on their table,” he told the publication.
Currently, New York state has over 92,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 2,935 deaths – 1,500 of which happened in NYC alone.
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.