Airbnb to offer free housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

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A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco, California.
Gabrielle Lurie | Reuters

Airbnb said Monday it will offer free, temporary housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.

The company will fund these stays with help from Airbnb hosts and donations to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.

Over 500,000 Ukrainians have fled since the war began, according to AP news. Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Monday that Kyiv still hopes for a diplomatic resolution with Russia even as Moscow sends more troops and weapons to its border.

“We need help to meet this goal,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said on Twitter. “The greatest need we have is for more people who can offer their homes in nearby countries, including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania,” Chesky tweeted.

The initiative is part of Airbnb’s efforts to support refugees through the company’s nonprofit, Airbnb.org.

In September, the company said it planned to provide free short-term housing to 40,000 Afghan refugees, double the initial goal of 20,000 announced in August. The company said it has provided housing to 21,300 Afghan refugees as of last week.

Airbnb and Airbnb.org have connected 54,000 refugees and asylees from countries around the world — including from Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan — to temporary housing over the last five years, the company said. Airbnb started its Refugee Fund last year.

Airbnb has not specified exactly how much the company plans to spend on the commitment or how long refugees will be housed. The company said it will provide more information about how hosts can support this initiative, such as by offering free or discounted stays, in the coming days.

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