Airbnb Pilots New Platform to Provide Housing for Refugees and Evacuees

Airbnb Pilots New Platform to Provide Housing for Refugees and Evacuees

Airbnb has launched the pilot for a new platform that will make it easier for people to open their homes to refugees and displaced people. Anyone who wants to share their space with a refugee for free can volunteer to open their home by visiting The price of participating homes will be set at zero dollars and Airbnb will collect no fees on these bookings.

Launched today, the new platform connects Airbnb hosts who have offered to temporarily house displaced people at no cost with relief organizations and nonprofits that serve refugees, evacuees and other people in need. Qualifying organizations can use to search and book free Airbnb listings for refugees and other displaced people in need.

“It’s easy to feel powerless when you think about massive global challenges such as the refugee crisis,” said Joe Gebbia, Airbnb CPO & co-founder, “but there are things everyone can do that make a big difference. The simple act of opening your home for a few nights can be life-changing for people who who’ve had to leave everything behind.”

Earlier this year, Airbnb set a goal of providing short term housing over the next five years for 100,000 people in need around the world. The new platform will help achieve this goal by making it easy for relief organizations to book listings with hosts around the world who have offered to share their space with refugees at no cost. To date, 6,000 people have offered to open their home to refugees at no cost.

“In the past, it was really difficult for people to open up their home to someone in need,” added Gebbia. “Now leveraging Airbnb’s core competency is easy for anyone who has a spare room or apartment and wants to connect with relief organizations and play a small role in tackling this global challenge.”

“Refugees are fleeing war, persecution or political upheaval,” commented David Miliband, International Rescue Committee (IRC) president and CEO. “They are resettling because they have been forced out of their homes. Most refugees arrive with nothing and must start over — they need work, money, education and, straight away, they need housing. By connecting hosts willing to open their homes with families in need, Airbnb will help us cut the time and expense of moving refugees from harm to home. Perhaps just as important, this sort of home sharing allows people to make real connections and to build lasting relationships.”

Other organizations with access to the tool include: SINGA Quebec, Inland Refugee Society of British Columbia, Kinbrace, Singa France, Refugiés Bienvenue, Elan Samusocial, SolidarityNow

Airbnb will work to expand the number of partners with access to in the months and years ahead.

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