- Airbnb has announced to provide free or low cost housing for 100,000 frontliners around the world.
- American Hotel and Lodging Association also commits to opening hotels for healthcare staff’s free lodgings.
- Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association is also “answering the call to action.”
In the midst of the pandemic coronavirus, Airbnb has taken initiative to give back to people especially to healthcare workers and others working on the frontlines all over the world.
On Thursday, Airbnb announced its plan to provide for 100,000 frontliners and first responders with free or low-cost housing.
Through the company’s Open Homes platform, Airbnb hosts are encouraged to participate and provide accommodations for free. But in cases that the unit owners cannot commit to giving free accommodation, Airbnb will handle all the fees. Homeowners can also adopt the new cleanliness and safety protocols developed by the health experts and the authorities.
This program has initially started in Italy and France where almost 6,000 hosts have joined the program.
“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” says Joe Gebbia, Airbnb Co-founder, in a press release. “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.”
Brian Cheskey, the company’s other co-founder, tweeted an update on Thursday afternoon saying 12,000 hosts have heeded the request.
Apparently, this is not the first time Airbnb has done its part and provided housing in times of disaster. The Open Homes program started in 2012 during which Hurricane Sandy has brought about destruction. In 2018, they yet again showed compassion by providing housing during the devastation of Hurricane Florence.
One of the most affected industries due to the nationwide quarantine and stay-at-home orders prompting closure of establishments, are the ones in the hospitality business.
The Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan will also open its doors to the health professionals.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York—one of the the epicenters of the outbreak—has made an announcement on Wednesday that “FREE lodging to doctors, nurses & medical personnel currently working to respond to the #COVID19 pandemic,” will be provided by the luxury hotel.
Moreover, the American Hotel and Lodging Association announced earlier this week their Hotels for Hope program which makes thousands of their hotel properties near medical facilities provide lodging to healthcare staff temporarily.
“As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support and help strengthen our communities and first responders who are on the frontlines of dealing with this ongoing public health crisis,” AHLA president and CEO, Chip Rogers, said in a press statement.
CEO and president of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, Michael Jacobson, also announced their “hotels are answering the call to action.”