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It can be stressful not knowing how you’re going to pay your rent or bills with everything going on. Thankfully, one community will have one less thing to worry about, thanks to a mysterious donation.
New York tenants who owed back rent and risked being evicted from their apartments were recently given the gift of a lifetime by a mysterious good Samaritan.
An unnamed individual donated $60,000 to pay off back payments for people living in Bliss Towers, a 132-unit apartment complex in Hudson, New York, the Times-Union reported. The mystery donor donated to the Hudson-Catskill Housing Coalition (HCHC), an advocacy group that works on behalf of tenants.
“If folks are evicted from [HHA], we know they’re homeless after that — they have no place else to go,” HCHC Senior Policy Advisor Quintin Cross told the Times-Union. Cross said there are several challenges hampering people’s ability to afford rent. In addition to the restrictions COVID-19 ushered in, he said housing costs have skyrocketed in Hudson.
“The pandemic has left our community in a dire situation and put a strain on people where there already was one,” a Facebook post from HCHC reads. “Housing costs [have] skyrocketed, inflation is at an all-time high, and people can not keep up with their bills.”
HCHC expressed gratitude to the donor and noted he wishes to remain anonymous. Despite the concealed identity of the individual, people haven’t held back from sharing their appreciation for the incredible act of kindness. “How generous of them!” one woman wrote on Facebook. “What an amazing thing to do.” Another added, “I’m trying not to cry. That’s beautiful.”
Cross said that public housing tenants are last in line to receive rental funds through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, referring to a federal program created during the pandemic that was temporarily extended with state funding.
On top of this, Section 8 vouchers for low-income households offer too little to cover rent in Hudson, he said, which has seen housing prices skyrocket even before the pandemic. Nick Zachos, serving temporarily as HHA’s executive director while a permanent replacement is found, said 50 lease-holders would benefit from the donation. He said the amounts owed range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
The money would go directly to the HHA to pay off the debts, and tenants do not have to apply, Zachos said, adding that the HCHC was adamant rents be paid off across the board, as opposed to a selection process.
Zachos said one HHA tenant, a man with a sick daughter, would always ask whether the rumored donation would come through. He was buried in hospital bills and had not paid rent for six to eight months. When the man learned his rent would be paid, he was “ecstatic,” Zachos said. “The weight off of his shoulder was just enormous.”
What a blessing to be able to bless others, and what a great feeling it must be to know that your rent is taken care of. Whoever this mysterious donor is, his blessing will come back to him tenfold.