Published: 25th Mar 2020

The Wheatley Group in Scotland has announced that it will make empty homes available to local authorities as temporary accommodation, as part of efforts to help tackle the impact of coronavirus.

The housing, property and care organisation said it will offer empty properties to Glasgow, Edinburgh, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian councils.

‘We are committed to supporting the most vulnerable during these extremely difficult times,’ said the Wheatley Group’s chief executive, Martin Armstrong.

‘We estimate up to 300 homes across Scotland could be handed on to our four strategic housing partners in the next three months.’

In addition, the group said its 500 housing staff across Scotland are now working from home, having been set up with all the necessary equipment to do so.

Oxford City Council has also revealed it is looking for hotel rooms for up to 100 people now sleeping on the streets and in communal spaces in hostels.

In a statement, the council said it has already secured 21 hotel rooms and is currently exploring a range of other options for securing nearly 60 more.

‘Nobody should have to sleep rough in Oxford and we’re working with outreach, supported housing and day services to protect vulnerable people on our streets and in supported housing from the coronavirus,’ said Oxford City Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Linda Smith.

‘We’re urgently looking for suitable self-contained accommodation to do this and I would ask hotels and organisations who can help to contact our rough sleeping and single homelessness team on 01865 249811.’

The news comes after the former England defender Gary Neville announced that the two hotels that he owns with former teammate Ryan Giggs – the Stock Exchange Hotel in the city centre and Hotel Football at Old Trafford – are open free of charge to NHS workers during the coronavirus crisis.

 

‘It is at this moment in time that the whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our staff in these uncertain times, but for the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months,’ said Neville.

Chelsea Football Club has also offered to make its Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge available for NHS staff.

Photo Credit – Kamyq (Pixabay)

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