Our hearts go out to everyone who has been or will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have taken swift and comprehensive action to protect the safety and well-being of our employees, tenants and the broader community. First and foremost, we are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. and the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) in Canada, as well as local health department recommendations across all of our markets to guide our response.
The information below is a snapshot of our approach, which we continue to adapt as appropriate.
Quite simply, our employees are what make our company great. We are committed to taking care of the more than 350 talented individuals who work here during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We have suspended all non-essential work travel, implemented remote work schedules as appropriate and rolled out comprehensive IT support. We have updated layouts and design for adequate social distancing, and when it is safe to do so, our employees come into the offices in staggered shifts.
Despite this crisis, our employees, regardless of their role or tenure, are continuing to receive full pay and benefits. We have increased our employee wellness resources, and fully support and comply with the enhanced paid sick-leave policies adopted by local governments where we operate.
We support our tenants and have been in regular communication with them to encourage adoption of local and federal health guidelines and share updates on our response. As an essential business, we have ensured that all our properties have remained safe, secure and operational throughout the entire pandemic. We have been fully supportive of and in compliance with the various regional COVID-19 eviction moratoria and implemented a rent relief program that dovetails with those ordinances to support our tenants during these difficult times.
In June, we launched our “4C’s” approach to tenant repopulation, which emphasizes proactive communication, seeks to instill confidence in tenants with safety-focused cleaning and operating procedures, ensures convenience with an emphasis on efficient access, and encourages cooperation by asking all tenants to do their part. We have also achieved Fitwel’s Viral Response Certification, a two-step certification program that sets the gold standard for mitigating contagious respiratory diseases in buildings. Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. The CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel, and the Center for Active Design acts as the organization’s licensed operator.
More specifically, we are supporting our tenants through this process by focusing on: proactive communication through multiple channels, such as on-site signage or utilization of the My HPP Office app; enhanced cleaning and supplies; infrastructure and HVAC upgrades, including using MERV-13 or higher rated air filters; modified building access, traffic flow, and hygiene of common areas and amenities; updated protocols for on-site third parties; and evaluation of new proptech solutions.
We also consult regularly with external subject matter experts to ensure we are aware of the latest research and recommendations, so our buildings are as safe as possible. We are prepared to adapt and continue to coordinate with large tenants and local governments as necessary.
We take great pride in being a responsible corporate citizen and supporting the communities in which we operate. Our CEO co-chairs the City of Los Angeles Office and Commercial Working Group to Reopen the Economy, which both aids our communities and ensures our approach to re-opening aligns with best practices as identified by cross-industry experts.
COVID-19 has exacerbated homelessness and housing affordability issues across our markets, both in terms of the current health crisis and its economic impacts. Homelessness and affordable housing support and solutions are critical to the long-term vitality of our communities and a key focus area for our philanthropic efforts. We have donated $100,000 to organizations working at the intersection of COVID-19 and homelessness in our core markets. These organizations include the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Tipping Point Community in Northern California, the Seattle Foundation and the Vancouver Foundation.
We also participated in the #FeedtheFrontLine movement in our communities by purchasing hundreds of meals in our core markets from our restaurant tenants, where possible, and nearby restaurants, cafés and caterers. We then helped to deliver those meals to healthcare, homeless shelter and other frontline workers. We are pleased to show this small token of our appreciation while supporting local businesses.
All of this work feeds into our recently introduced Better Blueprint platform, which we are adapting to address the challenges resulting from COVID-19. This includes finding the most impactful ways to support those experiencing homelessness and economic hardship in the current environment as well as adapting our Healthy Building Checklist to reflect the latest research on making buildings safe in the wake of the pandemic.