The world is constantly shifting, throwing major curve balls at us. Natural disasters, health pandemics, or war may leave people displaced and without shelter. During these times, we see humankind sparkle—unity and kindness overwhelm our society, bolstering those that need it the most. People worldwide are being stripped of their homes, family, and safety. Emergencies can turn their lives upside down in a second, and there is a desperate need for safe and secure temporary accommodations.
As an Airbnb Host, you may have years of experience and multiple listings, or you may be just setting up your first Airbnb. Regardless of your hosting history, you can help give back to those who need it most by offering your Airbnb for emergency placement.
The time between people fleeing from crisis and securing a long-term plan is one of the most challenging times for those affected. They have nowhere to go, decompress, and work out their next move. It is possible to register your Airbnb as an emergency placement for people in desperate times of need. You can offer your Airbnb free of charge or at a discounted rate to cover your basic costs.
Registering your Airbnb for emergency placements means you may house natural disaster survivors, refugees, or asylum seekers. Most of us are fortunate enough never to think about these events for ourselves, but many others do, and offering those people a safe place that they can call home for a short period of time can be a saving grace.
Even if offering your Airbnb for emergency placements is something you would love to be a part of, you likely have some concerns – as anyone would. Trust us, we get it, and it’s wise getting these questions out of the way so that if you do decide to register as an emergency placement, not only are your guests protected, but you are too.
Some non-profit partners work alongside Airbnb for this kind of specialty project. While offering help to refugee guests, they also take care of the eligibility screening process, taking that responsibility off of you as the host. Additionally, there are some differences regarding the types of guests staying at your Airbnb under emergency placement and how they book their accommodation.
There are multiple ways in which people impacted by a disaster can book emergency accommodations, and it all depends on the situation:
With refugees and asylum seekers, the circumstances are slightly different. And nonprofit partners almost always book their emergency placement. This allows the nonprofit partners to instruct the guests on any house rules and work through any questions or language barriers.
Refugees may not have their own account and ability to book your Airbnb. It’s also likely that they won’t be aware of, or have agreed to, any of your Terms of Service. For the hosts’ security, all the guests are screened for eligibility.
Those eligible for refugee housing are recognized refugees or are currently seeking asylum, a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), or any other immigration status designations with a similar humanitarian purpose. This gives you, the host, protection, and peace of mind for your property.
If you have decided to open your space to those experiencing a crisis, it is time to get the space ready for people to arrive. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when opening your space to emergency placements:
We forget how fortunate we are sometimes. After all, we have a roof over our heads and another one that brings in extra income. But being able to offer that to people in desperate need can be a great way to give back.
Rachel Jones is an award-winning writer and editor from Oklahoma City, OK. Her work has been published on influential sites, including Entrepreneur and International Business Times. She spent several years in property management and leasing, handling short-term rentals, student housing, and community rentals. Rachel is also experienced in staging and real estate photography. With a B.A. in English in her back pocket, Rachel combines her passion for property management with her storytelling ability to offer Airbnb hosts helpful advice as they monetize their homes.
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