Airbnb announced this new global initiative to help connect those responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with safe and convenient places to stay while they carry out their critical work. The company aims to help house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders around the world. To do so, Airbnb will waive all fees for stays arranged through this initiative.
To enable healthcare providers and other COVID-19 responders to find housing, Airbnb will be working with businesses, nonprofits, governments and emergency management agencies supporting these responders.
Already, organizations have taken on the COVID-19 health crisis by implementing drastic measures. For instance, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are coordinating millions of volunteers in 192 countries and the International Medical Corps is providing medical supplies, training, triage and treatment services.
“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help. We’ve heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times.” – Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s Co-founder
Two pilot programs were initially built in Italy and France where healthcare staff who are responding to the outbreak can access free accommodation through Airbnb, and nearly 6,000 hosts across both Italy and France have already offered their homes.
Hosts can opt into the program and have the option of opening their homes for free through Airbnb’s Open Homes platform to meet the needs of people requiring emergency housing. If hosts are not able to host for free, Airbnb will still waive all fees for the stay. Additionally, Airbnb Hosts will be able opt-in to provide homes that follow new cleanliness protocols based on recommendations from medical experts.
Airbnb has also launched a donation tool to help power more stays for relief workers while they do their critical work. (100% of the proceeds will go to nonprofits helping with COVID-19 relief efforts). To donate, go to airbnb.com/openhomes/covid19relief?donate.