Airbnb has come up with a way to help refugees, evacuees, and other displaced people.
In order to meet its five-year goal to provide free short-term housing to 100,000 people in need, the home-sharing company has launched Open Homes, a platform that allows everyone to sign up to host a person in need.
Hosts can decide how to support the cause, indicating when the home is available, how many people they can accommodate and who the home is most suitable for.
Airbnb has partnered with agencies like International Rescue Committee (IRC) that specialise in finding temporary shelter for people in need.
These organisations are in charge of vetting the individuals they are supporting and reaching out to the hosts to determine if their home is suitable.
“We’re thrilled this opportunity is available because of the sheer number of people needing short-term stays. We hope more people will offer their homes,” David Miliband, IRC’s CEO, said.
With Open Homes, Airbnb hopes to solve the slow process it has encountered in the past when trying to match refugees with hosts who had volunteered their homes.
“Our new platform allows relief organizations to connect people in need directly with Airbnb volunteer hosts, which means a faster process and fewer missed opportunities,” Airbnb said.
“From natural disasters to the refugee crises, the impact we can have as individuals might seem limited. But as many of our hosts know, sharing your home for even a few nights can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life.”
At the moment, there are 6,000 listings available on Open Homes around the world.
The company has previously been proactive in offering temporary housing to help those in need.
In 2012, it created the Disaster Response Tool after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast.
Earlier this year, it offered free housing to help connect those affected by Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban with accommodation.