Just another hero among us.
There are many landlords in the world — some you get along with, some barely tolerable. But if you’re lucky, really lucky, you find one of the best ones.
A global crisis that forces businesses to shut down and people to quarantine themselves is bound to cause financial hardships. Even more so for people living paycheck to paycheck. With jobs insecure and the need for daily supplies not showing signs of slowing down, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of just trying to make ends meet.
Surviving in a normally functioning world was already a struggle to begin with. With the coronavirus causing fear, unrest, and loss of employment, to simply get by feels impossible each day that we’re deprived of any semblance of normalcy.
Thankfully, there are still individuals who are willing to lend a helping hand. One of them is Mario Salerno. The Brooklyn landlord made the rounds across television and social media recently because of his heroic efforts to rescue his tenants from financial despair.
Salerno, who owns around 80 apartments that house 200 people, heard from some of his tenants about their problems with paying the rent and other bills as a result of the city’s ongoing lockdown mandate. There may be an unwelcome virus wreaking havoc right now, but things like shelter, internet, water, and electricity need to be taken care of in the matter of payment to, well, not cease to exist.
So, wanting to alleviate their worries, Salerno decided to cancel the rent for April and save everyone from the woes of not being able to earn enough this month. Posting a notice on the front door of all his 18 buildings, it read: “Please note I am waiving rent for the month of April 2020. Stay safe, help your neighbours and wash your hands!!!”
In the local community, Salerno is already well-known for his compassion. Those who know him describe him as one of the kindest. Since he’s sacrificing his own income to pay heed to the well-being of others, his kindness is as clear as day. In an interview with NBC New York, the landlord explained he only cares about his tenants’ welfare.
He said: “I want everybody to be healthy. That’s the whole thing. For me, it was more important for people’s health and worrying about who could put food on whose table. I say don’t worry about paying me, worry about your neighbour and worry about your family.”
Not all heroes wear capes. Not all heroes have super powers, either. Some just make sure you have one less thing to worry about in the face of adversity. And when you feel almost hopeless, the capeless superhero swoops in and tells you the sweetest thing ever: “No rent this month”.