Longlisted for a Business in the Community Responsible Business Award 2018
Airbnb’s global community offers shelter for free when disaster strikes
Action and Impact
Since 2008, Airbnb has built a business on strong links with local people in communities all over the world, inviting owners of properties to open their homes to people keen to experience real life in a different part of the world. As the company says, “Airbnb is people powered and the easiest way to earn a little extra income from extra space in a home or from sharing passions, interests and cities”.
It is because of this special relationship it has with its host communities in more than 65,000 cities, that Airbnb is in a unique position in the event of a disaster. Within the first week following an incident, the company automatically contacts hosts in or near to the impacted area to ask if they have extra space that they would like to share at no cost.
The Disaster Response Programme began after Hurricane Sandy in the US where one host wanted to open their home to help those displaced.
Since then, the power of its platform has helped the business successfully respond to high profile natural disasters and events – from the travel ban in the US to the hurricanes that devastated the Caribbean. “The beauty of this programme is that our hosts are able to open their homes and give back to a global community,” says Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s Chief Product Officer.