Short-term let landlords and property agents are being encouraged to offer NHS staff a free place to stay during the pandemic.
A new industry initiative – nhshomes.co.uk – is hooking up medical staff with free accommodation so they can stay nearer hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) is co-ordinating the scheme, working with six partners: short term rental firm UnderTheDoormat, home sharing and villa rental firms onefinestay and Altido, and home swapping platform LoveHomeSwap.
All will all provide free accommodation in partnership with their property-owners, while Laundryheap is delivering clean linen and towels, with free toiletries courtesy of Homes & Villa by Marriott International.
NHS Homes is already hosting staff who are working at hospitals in London including the Royal London and Guy’s. The scheme is now extending out of the capital with demand from Birmingham and Manchester as well as Slough and Staines.
“Demand is outstripping supply,” says STAA CEO Merilee Karr.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response and we need more homes to help more people across the country.
“We’re 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.”
No management fee
The STAA has appealed to its members and any property management company in the UK with a home or even a block of flats available to get in touch; it can then prepare the properties for NHS staff, with no management fee.
Many NHS staff now need accommodation to protect vulnerable people at home, including family members, or if they’ve relocated to London, been evicted either by landlords or effectively asked to leave by flatmates.