Home sharing website Airbnb has today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and partnership with the Victorian Government to help families and individuals affected by emergencies and natural disasters.
The move will allow certain users on the site to offer their homes or rooms to accommodate those affected by emergencies.
“Victoria is leading the way and using technology to benefit everyone. Today, the sharing economy is giving more people the freedom to start their own businesses and pursue their dreams and it’s helping make communities more vibrant and resilient,” said Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Emergency Management Victoria.”
The partnership allows people affected by emergencies, volunteers and emergency services workers to identify Airbnb hosts who will commit to opening their doors free of charge.
Airbnb will also commit to providing hosts participating in the program with documentation, pamphlets and information to assist with the education program to ensure they are adequately prepared to accommodate those in need.
“We welcome any avenue which helps strengthen existing arrangements for people who are forced to flee their homes during major and significant emergencies including fire and flood,” said Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley. “Arrangements with Airbnb will be in place during this summer season and we welcome this initiative which provides another way for generous Victorians to connect with one another in times of need.”
Airbnb is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2008. The home sharing site is a trusted community marketplace for those looking for hotel accommodation alternatives. Airbnb operates in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries around the world.
What do you think of this bold move by Airbnb? We are keen to hear your thoughts.