The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) has extended its TrustedStays accommodation scheme offering free or discounted accommodation to health workers.
The scheme was brought in to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 by enabling NHS and other key workers to relocate from their homes to safe properties close to work.
The STAA, the short-term rentals industry representative body, launched TrustedStays scheme in November, following consultation with government.
It superseded the NHS Homes initiative which was supported by more than 30 companies who donated over 10,000 nights’ free accommodation to a value of more than £20 million.
TrustedStays is now offering free or heavily discounted accommodation to any government worker, including those in the NHS and those who need to relocate for work.
Merilee Karr, chairwoman of the STAA, said: “The huge success we saw with the NHS Homes scheme last summer showed that the authorities needed our support in housing their staff as they worked through the pandemic.
“As the situation with COVID-19 has worsened dramatically in recent weeks, our property partners and homeowners want to get behind our key workers and say thank you, as well as helping to bring the virus under control.
“Wherever possible, properties have been reduced in price and in some cases are free. Everyone is doing their bit to try and help the key workers get through this pandemic and get us back to normality as quickly as possible.
“By staying in safe and clean accommodation, key workers won’t have the worry of a daily commute on public transport and will be able to protect vulnerable family members by staying in a separate, self-contained property.”
TrustedStays provides the government and NHS with a single website on which to book accommodation in accredited homes across the UK.
All rates are discounted compared with the standard commercial rates and for the next few weeks, bookings for frontline key workers will be eligible for special rates that will be free of charge or heavily discounted.
All TrustedStays participating companies follow the single set of industry cleaning and safety protocols introduced in June 2020.
Hundreds of properties are available in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and other regional locations throughout the UK.
Around 30 companies have committed hundreds properties to TrustedStays including UnderTheDoormat, Altido, CityRelay, Guest Ready, Sykes, A Place Like Home, Way of Life and Urban Stays.
Jeremy Slater, general manager UK, Altido, said, “We are once again proud to participate in TrustedStays and with our wide reach of properties from Scotland to London, we are in a position to provide quality accommodation in homes for NHS and other key workers as their needs arise.
“The past 12 months have been difficult for everyone, and we hope that by participating in this initiative once again, that we can all help to get through this final push and out the other side.”
Richard Bridger, chief operating officer of UnderTheDoormat, said, “Offering significantly discounted homes on TrustedStays is a valuable way the industry can support frontline key workers in the fight against COVID-19 and it’s our way of saying thank you to NHS staff.
“We hope that providing NHS staff with safe, clean and comfortable homes to stay in helps brings comfort to them during this tough time.
“TrustedStays will also offer a long-term sustainable solution for accommodating professionals who need safe, accredited properties to stay in, in a post-COVID world, and provides the industry with an important source of bookings during the current restrictions on all but essential stays.”