Airbnb hosts provide welcome places to stay for frontline healthcare workers

May 11, 2020

Sometimes you just need a welcoming, secure place to lay your head after a hard day or a long shift caring for others.

That’s more important than ever for frontline medical personnel caring for COVID-19 patients. Mitek salutes our partner Airbnb for making it possible for its hosts to safely provide lodging for frontline responders when they cannot return to their families.

Since first announcing the program, Airbnb says its hosts have offered 100,000 places to stay for people responding to the pandemic. Through this program, frontline medical staff can book stays in 160 countries and regions, with hosts in Paris, New York City and London each offering more than 2,000 listings in their cities for those doing lifesaving work. Airbnb is waiving all fees on the first 100,000 stays booked through the program.

“We want every dollar to support responders and their hosts,” the company said, announcing the program.

Airbnb has created customized cleaning protocols for hosts and guests to follow, to ensure everyone stays safe. To protect the community and themselves, COVID-19 responders need entire listings with no people present.

The response around the world has been heartwarming. In addition to working with organizations such as the French government, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Medical Corps and the International Rescue Committee, Airbnb has expanded the program to offer direct support to NHS hospitals and trusts. In Italy, more than 3,000 homes have been made available by hosts and in France, the Minister of Housing announced that more than 5,000 listings have been made available by hosts and 11,000 nights have been booked by COVID-19 responders.

At the same time, Airbnb’s founders, employees and investors have created a $17 million fund to launch the Superhost Relief Fund for Superhosts and hosts of Airbnb Experiences, two classifications of Airbnb hosting programs.

“We know this is a difficult time for hosts, and we want to help,” the company said, announcing the fund in April.

Airbnb also has launched a donation tool to help pay for stays for relief workers. All donations go directly to nonprofits helping with COVID-19 relief efforts.

“All over the world we see people, communities and companies stepping forward,” says Mitek Vice President Cindy White. “I can only imagine how difficult it is to care for others and not be able to go home to your family when your shift is done. We salute Airbnb for offering our healthcare heroes welcoming, comfortable, safe places to stay.”