Airbnb landlord Charlie Harington’s offer to house NHS workers in his empty flat has gone down well with healthcare workers and also prompted other landlords in his area to do the same. Would you?

A generous Belfast landlord has inspired others in Northern Ireland to hand over their Airbnb properties to NHS workers rent-free.

Charlie Harington’s two-bed mid-terrace property in Donegall Road next to Belfast City Hospital had been sitting empty since the Coronavirus epidemic took hold.

But his shout-out on his Facebook page earlier this week has received 8,000 shares so far after he posted: “If any NHS worker(s) need to use it as a base whilst they work insane hours to help fight Covid-19 then they can stay here completely free of charge.

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“There’s not much we can physically do so this is our way of helping.”

Harrington realised he was onto something and immediately set up the Facebook group – Connecting NI landlords to NHS workers – as a way to hook up NHS staff and other Airbnb hosts willing to help out.

And landlords quickly responded, with one commenting: “We’ve been self-isolating so not been down to change beds after last Airbnb people stayed 9th March.

“If any NHS staff possibly Downpatrick area would be able to use it pm me.”

Another landlord offered: “I have a ground floor flat free in Castlewellan if that would help any NHS workers? Would suit someone working in Downpatrick hospital.”

The father-of-three was shocked by the response and adds: “We were met with amazing support, interest and demand. I thought it might be useful to doctors and nurses who wanted to sleep there or catch a few hours’ sleep or put their feet up away from the hospital for an hour.”

Two intensive care nurses have now moved into his property and he hopes health trusts will co-ordinate a plan with landlords to use vacant properties so they can be used by frontline staff.


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