Would you offer your Airbnb rental for free to COVID-19 responders?
Home-sharing marketplace Airbnb is calling on New Jersey hosts and others to help them in an effort to provide housing to 100,000 front-line workers in the coronavirus response across the globe.
The initiative aims to provide free or subsidized housing for healthcare professionals, relief workers and other individuals on the front lines fighting back against the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.
"What we've heard from many of them is that they are looking for support in finding housing that may be near the hospitals where they're working. Some of them are looking to self-isolate from their families," said Liz Debold Fusco, an Airbnb spokeswoman. "Or some of them are even coming from other states to provide support at hospitals in the epicenters, like in New York and in New Jersey."
Those interested in offering a free or heavily-discounted stay are told to follow stringent cleanliness protocols based on recommendations from medical experts, in order to allow accommodation for relief and medical workers. Among those protocols — enhanced cleaning, listing entire homes, and allowing 72 hours between stays.
Airbnb is waiving all fees on these stays, which are being offered through Airbnb's Open Homes platform. The company says it's working in real time to find new ways to connect medical responders to housing supply as it comes in.
This initiative builds on two pilot programs in Italy and France that have already seen thousands of hosts offer accommodations to doctors, nurses, caregivers and other medical support staff responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Garden State residents interested in providing housing can check this page for additional information.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.