Launch of New Trusted Stays Scheme to Support Key Workers During Covid-19 Second Wave
Hot on the heels of the hugely successful NHS Homes programme, the UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) is launching an exciting new scheme (TrustedStays) to offer key workers safe and clean accommodation near their places of work. The scheme has been developed on behalf of STAA’s members, with the aim of making it more convenient for its prime customers – the UK Government and NHS – to use.
The NHS Homes scheme, which launched back in March, successfully accommodated thousands of key workers during the height of the coronavirus crisis. The initiative involved more than 30 partners donating accommodation with a value of more than £20m, providing over 10,000 nights’ free accommodation in total. And demand has not slowed. Indeed, as the pandemic has continued to take hold, it’s become increasingly clear that safe accommodation is still a vital requirement for many government employees (traffic to the NHS Homes website was consistently high, with a recent spike just before the transition into TrustedStays).
Via TrustedStays, STAA will provide the government with one single, consolidated platform through which to book accommodation (at discounted rates) in quality homes across the UK. The scheme is only open to STAA members who have accreditation from Quality in Tourism’s Safe, Clean and Legal scheme. Major players in the short-term accommodation industry - such as UnderTheDoormat (who provide luxury homestays across London) and Sykes (who represent thousands of properties around the UK) – have already flocked to take part.
Merilee Karr, chair of STAA and founder of UnderTheDoormat, said: 'The huge success we saw with the NHS Homes scheme illustrated to us that the authorities needed our support in housing their staff as they continue to work through this pandemic and beyond.
'We took many learnings from setting up that scheme and because we already have the infrastructure, cleaning protocols and accreditation in place, the Government and NHS workers trust us to provide them with appropriate accommodation for short or longer periods of time. This offer isn’t just confined to NHS workers. We can also accommodate vulnerable people who need to be sheltered from COVID-19 and other key workers such as MPs, who have to be at their place of work, need flexible accommodation and prefer to stay in a professionally managed home setting.
'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.’
Following close consulation with government representatives, TrustedStays is now live – providing the government with a single, consolidated platform to book accommodation in accredited homes across the UK.
• Only STAA members who have accreditation from Quality in Tourism’s Safe, Clean and Legal scheme are eligible to take part.
• All STAA members’ property owners are following the new industry cleaning and safety protocols, which were introduced in June.
• Government officials will be able to search for accommodation near to specific sites (i.e. hospitals). To ensure all information is up to date and relevant, individual property managers will be able to upload information about available properties onto the platform themselves.
• Enquiries from customers will go direct to the property manager responsible for the home’s rental. Payment can be arranged by invoice or debit/credit card.
• In comparison to standard short-term rentals, all TrustedStays properties will be offered for discounted rates.
• First launching in London (with around 1000 properties expected to be available by the end of October), the scheme will then expand across the UK.
Richard Bridger, COO of UnderTheDoormat, commented: 'NHS Homes demonstrated that there is a real lack of options when it comes to accommodation for professionals and key workers in this current environment. By opening up the option of safe, clean and comfortable homes to government workers we can provide a long-term sustainable solution for them in a post-Covid world.'
Find out how to unlock quality stays for professionals by visiting the TrustedStays website now; or, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for more information about UnderTheDoormat's role in the scheme.