The Association for Serviced Apartment Providers ASAP has been asked by Wilfried Zaha and his business partner Obi Williams to help supply serviced apartment properties around the UK, where frontline NHS staff can be accommodated during the COVID-19 crisis.
The pair reached out directly to the Association through the London Evening Standard, after finding out from an NHS anaesthetist who was recovering from the virus in one of their properties, how hard it is to accommodate staff on call close to hospitals. Zaha and Williams offered the NHS 50 apartments owned by their business accommodation company ZoProperties, and they were instantly snapped up.
Now he is calling on serviced apartments companies and operators to open the doors of any unfilled and empty apartments to house NHS staff battling the coronavirus outbreak countrywide, saying: "We need properties right now."
James Foice, ASAP CEO, agrees: “Serviced apartments are ideal for key workers who need the autonomy, safety, security and space that they offer. Maintained and cleaned to the highest standards, fully set up and equipped to offer a home-from-home environment, they are the perfect solution for anyone needing to self-isolate, live away from home but still be close to work.
"Frontline NHS staff will appreciate the extra space serviced apartments offer, especially as they come with fully-fitted kitchens with cooking facilities, and many also have washing machines and dryers.
"We were already in discussions with the NHS about how our Members could support the amazing work their staff are providing, by offering accommodation in many locations close to hospitals - indeed one of our Members is already providing accommodation to all NHS staff across its ten locations UK-wide.”
ASAP is working with all accredited providers and agents to get them involved in this call to action.
Foice concludes: “We are a growing part of the hospitality sector, and absolutely nothing is more important to ASAP Members than the welfare and safety of their guests - at any time, but especially during the current crisis.
“Whether it's accommodating NHS or other keyworkers, or anyone displaced across the country who is forced to make apartments their temporary, primary residence, ASAP Members and the serviced apartment sector are set up, poised and ready to accept this challenge. “We’re here to help."