13:27 PM, 9th April 2020, About A year ago 1
The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) is promoting a scheme to offer free accommodation to London’s NHS key workers. Together with a number of partners who usually operate in the short term let market, the scheme, called ‘NHS Homes’, will provide free accommodation and additional services to NHS staff to enable them to stay near the hospitals they work in during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The scheme has already provided over 800 homes to NHS staff with capacity for 2500 more.
Under The Doormat, a London based business that typically provides luxury short term rental accommodation to guests seeking a home stay in London, launched the original scheme earlier this week. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a downturn in its bookings so it switched its attention to working with its customers, the property owners and partner company Laundry heap, an on-demand laundry and dry cleaning service, to open up homes that might other wise sit empty over this period to NHS Key Workers.
The high level of interest shown in the scheme led CEO, Merilee Karr, to turn this into an industry-wide solution, with the STAA providing one point of contact for the NHS to access homes across many companies in the sector. The NHS Homes scheme, which can be found at nhshomes.co.uk, is officially launched today with six partners: Under The Doormat, Laundry heap, one fine stay, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, Altido and Love Home Swap:
Under The Doormat, onefinestay, Altido and Love Home Swap will be providing free accommodation in partnership with their property-owners.
Laundry heap will be delivering clean linen and towels for the medical staff.
Homes & Villasby Marriott International will be providing amenities for guests
Merilee Karr said: “The original scheme has only been running for a couple of days but already demand is outstripping supply. We have had an overwhelming response and we need more homes to help more people across the country. We’re currently in the process of hosting staff who are working at a number of hospitals in London including the Royal London, King’s College, St Mary’s, Guy’s, St George’s, Charing Cross and Chelsea & Westminster.
“I am delighted that we are able to help the NHS key workers who literally put their lives on the line for us every day and it’s great to work together with other incredible companies from across the industry to set up this scheme. We are speaking to companies and property portfolio owners to bring on more rooms and properties and the additional services that will make stays for NHS workers comfortable. We want to get as many companies on board as possible to make this a truly industry-wide initiative.”
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