Airbnb is expanding its Open Homes program to allow hosts to register their homes preemptively for people affected by an emergency in the area free of charge. Before this new launch, homeowners could only offer their properties to victims of evacuees on short notice.
Airbnb released a statement announcing the Open Homes expansion at the US Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. The project will hold its first test pilot in San Jose, California in partnership with the city’s local government. As per the statement, the pilot will include “In-person preparedness trainings and recruitment events”, a digital campaign that includes “paid media, online communications and email educations” to those involved, and developing a new protocol that will improve communications between emergency management teams.
The company’s statement reads, “As this first of its kind pilot launches, we look forward to the continued evolution of our program so that hosts and community members interested in assisting during times of need have a platform to do so. This is an important step, and we are thrilled partner with the City of San Jose on this new initiative.”