Citing Catholic Faith, NY Landlord Waives Rent During Coronavirus

Catholic business owner and landlord Mario Salerno allows his 200 residents to live rent-free for the entire month of April, citing his faith and concern for their well-being.

Mario Salerno in front of Salerno Auto Body, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mario Salerno in front of Salerno Auto Body, Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: ENN/EWTN)

New York state has been hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals are overrun with patients being treated by the virus and many residents within the five boroughs are being laid off or losing their jobs altogether. This news led one landlord to do something about it, crediting his Catholic faith for his decision. 

After hearing some of his tenants were worried about being able to pay rent over notices of layoffs or being let go from their jobs, on the morning of March 30, Mario Salerno posted a notice on the front doors of all of his buildings announcing, “Due to the recent pandemic of Coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month for April.”

Colm Flynn, correspondent for EWTN News Nightly, recently spoke with Mario Salerno in Williamsburg about his decision to waive the month of April for his 200 tenants. Salerno told correspondent Colm Flynn, “My Catholic faith brought it upon me to make this decision.” Salerno adds, “(It’s the) value of a life, and I pray everyday for the Good Lord to conquer this vicious virus.”

Watch the full interview here: