Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK, frontline keyworkers have struggled to find suitable, safe accommodation close to their workplaces where they can spend time away from vulnerable family members after long shifts.
On hearing this, James Foice, CEO of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers, rallied his Membership to help.
“When we realised how hard it was to find suitable places to live during the crisis, we knew serviced apartments could offer keyworkers an ideal solution – especially as they offer kitchens and laundry facilities, so residents can completely isolate themselves from other people.
“Members across the country have been fantastic. In this case, one of the UK’s leading professional services firms offered the free use of 12 apartments for three months, previously earmarked for staff on assignment in the City and managed by ASAP Accredited Provider SACO.”
ASAP-approved Agent SITU reached out to the London Fire Brigade, who were asking for accommodation for firefighters coming off 12-hour shifts.
Brigade staff can be housed with up to 24 firefighters at a time, in safe, self-contained accommodation near the Royal Docks.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Thank you very much indeed to ASAP for your help and assistance in securing this fantastic offer of accommodation, which has proved invaluable in helping our staff during these very challenging times and for which we are very grateful.”
James Foice concludes: “I am delighted that the ASAP Membership and my team have been able to help in this way. We are working with a range of bodies including the NHS and a number of councils across the country, and finding accommodation is needed in a hurry for everyone from frontline keyworkers and the emergency services, to families fleeing domestic violence and rough sleepers who need to be helped off the streets.
“We always knew there was an important place for serviced apartments and aparthotels; now, in this crisis, I am proud to see them playing such a part in accommodating those most in need. ASAP Members currently have around 8,500 safe, Health & Safety-accredited apartments available across the country, and I urge anyone looking to house staff in this way to get in touch.”