Airbnb offers free housing to coronavirus first responders worldwide

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Airbnb announced Thursday it is launching an initiative to house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders worldwide who are battling the coronavirus pandemic.

“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia said in a statement.

“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,” Gebbia added.

Homes and apartments made available through the program will need to meet a standard of cleanliness determined by Airbnb-selected medical experts.

A version of this program launched last week in France, where the government and Airbnb worked together to find 4,000 hosts willing to let medical personnel like doctors and nurses stay in their accommodations for free.

It will be up to individual hosts to decide if they want to donate the use of their accommodations.

“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,” Airbnb said, adding: “If hosts are not able to host for free, Airbnb will still waive all fees on the stay.”

Airbnb said its goal is to house 100,000 workers around the world.

Emergency workers who are looking for accommodations and hosts who would like to make their homes available can visit Airbnb.com.

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