WASHINGTON — In an effort to support communities across the country during this unprecedented public health crisis, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced a new initiative, Hotels for Hope, to connect hotel properties with the health community struggling to find housing and support as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows.
The newly launched initiative, just announced in partnership with AHLA partner state associations across the country, has identified over 6,500 properties nationwide located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities that are at the ready to assist government efforts and work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in coordination with the U.S. Army CORPS of Engineers and local emergency management and public health agencies to provide access to hotel properties to support the health community and the nation’s first responders who may be in need of temporary housing during this crucial time.
To help match and streamline the process for willing hotel properties to connect with federal, state, and local governments, AHLA is working to create a national Hotels for Hope database at the federal level with HHS, as well as at the local level with industry partner state associations. Local, state, and federal government officials will be able to search willing properties based on geographic location.
“As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support and help strengthen our communities and first responders who are on the frontlines of dealing with this ongoing public health crisis,” said Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO. “Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different. AHLA, in partnership with our partner state associations, is proud to work on behalf of our member companies to facilitate partnerships with federal, state, and local governments to support the health community during this critical time.”
Hotels interested in joining AHLA’s Hotels for Hope initiative can volunteer. Already, examples of hotels partnering with local and state officials in communities are being reported in Chicago and California, and more efforts are expected in the coming days and weeks, including in New York City and Texas.
“The number of hotels wanting to be part of the program is growing by the hour,” said Michael Jacobson, CEO and president of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association. “Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”
“‘Hotels for Hope’ is just one of the many ways that our hotels are helping those in need in our communities during this time of crisis,” said Kim Sabow, president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. “We look forward to working with all interested parties, including local and state officials, and the federal government to find innovative solutions to make it through this critical time together.”