BENGALURU: With multiple cities under lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, home rental and student housing startups have launched initiatives to help students and young professionals find accommodation at short notice.

New Delhi-based shared living startup Stanza Living is offering accommodation at more flexible contract period and rentals to students and working professionals who are being asked to vacate their hostels or paying guest (PG) accommodation in cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Pune.

Twenty-one year old Ravi Kumar Sunkhesvarapu, an IT employee from Ongole in Andhra Pradesh, moved into a Stanza Living residence in Hyderabad last week.

"I'm in a relaxed frame of mind in this current situation, when PGs and hostels are asking people to vacate and finding good quality accommodation is a challenge. I moved into a mini-suite which was ideal, clean and with all the amenities one would expect...They have been sanitizing each room every single day and providing each resident with all required precautions," he said, over e-mail.

In India, Covid-19 cases have surged past 500. With lockdowns imposed in several states, workplaces have cut down on shifts and staff.

Stanza Living is also preparing to set up quarantine facilities, and has a contingency plan in place to do so. With new residences across 10 cities, the company said it is prepared to support the local authorities and government and will earmark these spaces for quarantine purposes, as required.

The company said it has implemented sanitisation measures across its residences, strengthened on-site cleanliness, advised social distancing and restricted visitor movement.

"As a home to migrant youth from across the country, we intend to stand by and support the people who have been left stranded or are facing accommodation challenges because of reasons not under their control. We are offering some of our new Stanza Living residences across over 10 cities to any such person who needs a place to stay, with immediate effect," Anindya Dutta, managing director and co-founder of Stanza Living, said.

Managed rental housing startup Nestaway Technologies has also opened its doors to PG residents. Nestaway has committed up to $1 million in waived fees and service charges for new tenants moving into its units during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Bengaluru-based company said it intends to offer its inventory of over 6,000 full houses and over 4,500 private rooms across 19 cities in India to tenants, especially young professionals staying in PGs, at preferential rates and under special terms until the crisis subsides. Nestaway has extended this offer to corporate employers and HR teams seeking accommodation for their young employees.

Amarendra Sahu, chief executive and co-founder of Nestaway said, "Young folks in PGs in cities are caught between a rock and a hard place during these times. On one hand, most of them are from small towns and can't go back home as their homes may not have broadband to avail work from home."

"Moreover, the coming months are the time for new jobs and job changes. In this situation, we want to be meaningfully helpful to them - we just slashed our one-time charges by a flat 50% for everyone moving from a PG to our homes. If things worsen further, we will work with our owners to make it further affordable," Sahu added.

Nestaway is present in Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Chennai, Hyderabad, Noida, Pune, Delhi, and several other cities in India.

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