LOS ANGELES – The continued stay-at-home orders created by COVID-19 have had many negative impacts, but a new partnership in Los Angeles is housing vulnerable populations in corporate housing units.
Elected and philanthropic leaders in Los Angeles, who started focusing on this emergent issue as the global health crisis began, sought this new partnership placing vulnerable individuals and families in corporate housing units across the city. Unlike hotels or motels, corporate housing units provide full kitchens, in-unit laundry, private entry, and amenities commonly associated with apartment living. Vulnerable populations include housing insecure families, domestic violence survivors, frontline workers and medical personnel. Corporate housing companies span a wide array of business models, locations, offerings, and specialties, making the industry highly flexible and able to jump in when called upon.
“When we first understood just how serious this situation was, we put the word out to our member companies requesting their capabilities to give back to the communities in which they operate,” said Mary Ann Passi, CEO of the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA), the trade group that represents corporate housing companies. “We’re happy to help in any way we can.”
Corporate housing companies generally accommodate guests requiring temporary moderate-term stays between 30 days and one year. Often located as part of larger residential apartment communities, these units provide requisite amenities for traveling nurses and doctors, medical patients and their families, wildfire/natural disaster victims, and those relocating for a job, the military, or traveling productions.
Corporate housing is one of many industries that have found innovative ways to give back during the COVID-19 crisis. Generally reliant on a growing economy as well as business travel, corporate housing now finds itself amid uncertain times. With jobs being lost at record rates and travel almost non-existent, the industry has been hit with many cancellation requests. At the same time, however, a number of current corporate housing guests have chosen to extend their stays indefinitely, taking advantage of the flexibility and services provided by the industry during the pandemic.
“Our industry prides itself on providing everything and anything to our guests and clients, especially in times of crisis,” said Lee Curtis, CCHP, co-founder of RESIDE Worldwide and Chair of the CHPA board. “Whether it’s earthquakes, wildfires, or worldwide pandemics, we’re ready and willing to step up.”
Globally, the Corporate Housing Providers Association represents 300 member companies that have come together to help those in need. Corporate housing companies that operate in the Los Angeles region have banded together to offer their units for either free or extremely reduced rates to those in need. Bob Zev of Los Angeles Luxury Furnished Housing has offered several of his fully furnished units near UCLA Medical Center to medical professionals seeking a place to stay in order to be closer to the hospital or isolate from their families.
“In these uncertain times, it’s important that we all find a way to lend a hand,” said Zev. “When we first learned of our industry’s efforts, it only made sense to offer our available units to those on the front line of this pandemic. It’s the right thing to do.”