Holiday rental service Airbnb have announced the launch of Airbnb.org, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis.
Airbnb hosts will be able to offer free and discounted stays to people impacted by emergencies, including natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. These stays aim to support government and nonprofit efforts to house vulnerable people. This comes as many traditional shelters struggle to balance the demand for accommodation with the need to limit resident numbers in order to prevent coronavirus transmission.
Airbnb.org has also committed $2 million to partner with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Community Organised Relief Effort (CORE). This funding will be used to cover the cost of stays for IFRC staff and volunteers supporting communities worldwide affected by COVID-19 and other disasters. The money will also be used by CORE to fund stays for frontline workers administering free COVID-19 tests, conducting contact tracing, providing flu shots and coordinating quarantine support resources in ten cities across the US.
“We are incredibly grateful to Airbnb.org for providing places for our team to stay while they are away from home and serving communities that are being affected by COVID-19,” said CORE Co-Founder and CEO Ann Lee. “It’s heartening to know that our hardworking team has a safe and comfortable place to rest and recuperate after the hard work they do every single day on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic.”
This announcement builds on Airbnb’s Open Homes and Frontline Stays programme, which launched in 2012 following Hurricane Sandy. Since then, over 75,000 people have received accommodation through the programme.
Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb and Chairman of Airbnb.org, said: “Founding and supporting Airbnb.org allows us to double down on our efforts to help communities in need across the world in coordination with our partners, including the IFRC and CORE, to further amplify the generosity of our host community.”
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