Brooklyn landlord who waived rents goes on the Ellen Show

Shutterfly to give a Brooklyn soup kitchen $25,000 in Mario Salerno’s honor

New York Weekend Edition /
Apr.April 25, 2020 02:00 PM

The Brooklyn landlord who gave his tenants a free month of rent was a guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” this week.

Mario Salerno was invited on by Degeneres to talk about why he waived rent for all the tenants in his 18 buildings in Brooklyn. During the interview, Degeneres revealed that company Shutterfly was donating $25,000 in his name to the North Brooklyn Angels soup kitchen, Greenpointers reported.

Salerno, who also runs a family auto shop in Williamsburg, said he decided to waive rents after some of his tenants came to him “crying and telling me they couldn’t afford to even put a meal on their table.”

“I want them to make sure they have food on their table, I want to make sure they can take care of their roommates and their neighbors,” he said.

He added that some tenants offered to pump gas at his family’s Salerno Service Station and clean their buildings, but he refused.

April rent was a pressing concern for many tenants who found themselves out of work following New York City’s unprecedented economic shutdown in March.

Data suggests that more renters have paid rent in April than was feared — about nine in 10 tenants surveyed by the National Multifamily Housing Council earlier this week paid something through April 19.

But May rents are coming due and there’s broad public support for suspending rent payments nationwide for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. [Greenpointers] — Dennis Lynch


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