Airbnb launches nonprofit for crisis lodging

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Airbnb CEO says one day the travel and leisure industry will be stronger than it ever has been. But some things won't return.
Photo: Getty Images.
Airbnb CEO says one day the travel and leisure industry will be stronger than it ever has been. But some things won't return. Photo: Getty Images.

Airbnb has created a nonprofit aimed at helping emergency response workers find lodging in times of crisis, like now with the pandemic.

The new Airbnb.org was announced Monday as a partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) to support housing for workers and volunteers fighting the Covid-19 crisis and other kinds of emergencies.

"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," said Joe Gebbia, a co-founder of Airbnb and chairman of Airbnb.org.

Airbnb.org's initial commitments include $2 million to support the efforts. Over the next two years, Airbnb.org will commit $1 million to cover stays for staff and volunteers supporting communities worldwide hit by humanitarian disasters.

CORE will utilize Airbnb.org's $1 million contribution to fund stays for frontline workers administering free Covid-19 tests, conducting contact tracing, providing flu shots and coordinating quarantine support in 10 cities across the US, according to a statement.

Airbnb has pledged 400 000 of its shares to support the effort ahead of the home-sharing platform's initial public offering.

Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk are committing $6 million to the program

Airbnb.org will allow hosts on Airbnb to provide free and discounted stays to people impacted by emergencies, including natural disasters and the pandemic.

Hosts who support the program will receive a special badge on their profile to recognise their support.

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