Published on Friday, March 27, 2020

Airbnb aims to provide free accommodation to 100,000 emergency workers

Airbnb is calling on hosts to offer free or discounted accommodation to frontline workers trying to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The short-term lettings online portal has set a target to house 100,000 emergency workers around the world

"Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help," Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia said

"We've heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders."

"Hosts can opt into the program and have the option of opening their homes for free through Airbnb's Open Homes platform, created in 2012 to meet the needs of people requiring emergency housing," the company said.

The Open Homes program kicks in during times of major disruption and natural disasters, such as wildfires, earthquakes and floods, displacing tourists and residents in large numbers.

Airbnb recently rolled out a new 'extenuating circumstances' policy encouraging hosts to be more flexible with cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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