This case study was published in the 2022 REIT Industry ESG Report, which details the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and features 32 case studies showcasing REIT leadership and ESG innovation from a variety of sectors. The report serves as a practical tool for shareholders and stakeholders to assess the scale and impact of the REIT industry's ESG commitments and initiatives. Applicable footnotes and/or citations for this case study are available in the full report.
Taking a Community-Centered Approach to COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts
To support the health, safety, and wellbeing of its customers and employees, and to combat COVID-19, Equity LifeStyle Properties began a vaccination program in partnership with homeowners associations, local health departments, and pharmacies, and took additional steps on its properties to help stop the spread.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Equity LifeStyle hosted vaccination events at 55 properties, helping nearly 9,000 residents receive their vaccinations close to home as of January 2022. The company created awareness of the events via emails and partnered with homeowners’ associations at its properties. Equity LifeStyle took a local approach to the vaccination clinics, tailoring them to each community’s needs. These clinics enabled access to the vaccines and helped build a sense of community in a time when it was needed most, allowing residents to better protect themselves against COVID-19, together.
In addition to the vaccination program, Equity LifeStyle adjusted daily operations to limit in-person contact while enabling customers to access services virtually. For example, the company instituted virtual home tours at its manufactured home communities and instituted an online check-in procedure for its RV resorts and campgrounds. These new digital options quickly grew in popularity, with more than 1,000 virtual tours created and nearly 350,000 online check-ins completed through 2021. Equity LifeStyle will continue these initiatives as the company strives to help keep residents and employees safe while also improving the efficiency of daily processes.
“Working together as a team, the homeowners association booked appointments and the Equity LifeStyle team arranged the logistics. We received over 5,000 emails requesting appointments, indicating the extreme need among the seniors to get vaccinated. The county had a lottery waiting list for vaccinations at the time and most Colony Cove residents were unable to get appointments, so they were ecstatic to have the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine right here in Colony Cove. We processed 3,500 vaccination appointments in two and a half days.”
-Darlene Kornacker, Colony Cove Homeowners Association President
Equity LifeStyle strongly believes in the importance of keeping its communities safe and has learned to quickly adapt to the changing conditions of the pandemic. Through these strategic partnerships and community engagement, the company helped thousands of residents get vaccinated against COVID- 19 and is continuing this initiative to provide booster shots. This, along with the digitization of tours and online check-ins, helps build a sense of trust within the company’s communities, illustrating Equity LifeStyle’s perseverance when it comes to prioritizing its people.
Equity Lifestyle Properties is a leading owner and operator of manufactured home communities, RV resorts and campgrounds, and marinas in North America.