There With You: Landlord offers NHS workers fighting coronavirus pandemic rent-free accommodation in Finsbury Park
PUBLISHED: 17:53 02 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:03 02 April 2020
A landlord is offering NHS workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic a rent-free stay in his Finsbury Park flats, if they need it.
The property owner, who doesn’t want to be named, says he’s got about 20 properties in the area where frontline workers can stay for three-months, or as long as it takes to beat the virus.
He’s advertising the flats via Hemmingfords estate agents and doesn’t expect NHS workers who take up his offer to pay any rent, unless they can afford to and want to contribute.
The landlord will ask workers to pay a “nominal sum” towards utility bills and council tax, but says he’ll contact providers once they move in and ask them to temporarily waive the charges. B
He told the Gazette: “I’m looking at these people who are going into battle, it’s effectively war and they haven’t got any armour. And then they have to go and stay in their homes with children and family who are at risk.”
He added: “There are NHS workers who need accommodation. These people need somewhere to be safe for the night so they can recharge their batteries to go into battle and help us. [...] I have just been on the phone to two nurses who are on the emergency department at Whittington Hospital, they are friends but both live with vulnerable people.
“One’s mum is immunosuppressed because she’s recovering from cancer and he is on a daily bases subjected to Covid. He has very mild symptoms and is scared he is going to kill his mum.”
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He said landlords with vacant properties have a responsibilty to step in and help ease the pressure on the NHS.
“Everyone’s got to do what they can,” he added. “This is going to cost me money but this isn’t about money any more, this is about doing what’s right. I want to be able to look the doctors and nurses in the face, I want to be able to look my children in the face.”
The landlord used to be in the army and his wife was nurse at St Mary’s Hospital, and they’re aware they would have been on the frontline had this happened 20 years ago – and want to help.
He added: “I’m a first generation immigrant to this country. This is still the greatest country in the world. Everyone has to do what they can, everyone has to help.”
UCLH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Whittington Hospital and Royal Free have been approached.
If you or someone you know is an NHS worker who needs somewhere to stay, contact Rose and her husband Faz, who run Hemmingfords, on 020 3890 7470 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for a directory of agencies helping people in Islington during the pandemic.
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