Airbnb: How You Can Help Refugees Fleeing Ukraine
Many of you have been following world events and wondering what you can do to help.
We want to let you know that Airbnb.org has committed to funding and facilitating free, short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine. Airbnb.org will partner with nonprofit organizations on the ground who will directly coordinate these short-term stays.
Images: Apartment in Kyiv, Ukraine by Alena Yudina
The commitment to house refugees fleeing Ukraine builds on the year-round work of Airbnb.org. Recently, the nonprofit announced that it provided housing to more than 20,000 Afghan refugees. It also set a new goal of providing free, temporary housing to another 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, and other regions.
This new effort to offer short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine is in addition to work over the past few years to support refugees and provide emergency accommodations to those in need.
Image: Alena Yudina
Inspired by a fellow Host
In 2012, a Host named Shell opened her home to people impacted by Hurricane Sandy. That kind gesture sparked a movement that led to Hosts on Airbnb providing free stays for people in times of need, and eventually evolved into Airbnb.org, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Over the last decade, Airbnb.org and our Host community have helped and housed tens of thousands of people, including refugees, those seeking shelter following natural disasters, and frontline workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, Airbnb.org announced the creation of a Refugee Fund and galvanized more than 4,000 donors and Hosts offering free and discounted stays—further supporting its work with refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.
Image: Alena Yudina
Hosting with Airbnb.org
Airbnb.org works with nonprofit partners, including the International Rescue Committee, HIAS, and Care International.
Caseworkers from these types of organizations make bookings with Hosts on behalf of refugees, and help these guests take care of other critical needs like finding healthcare, employment, and long-term accommodations.
Airbnb.org helps fund the cost of short-term stays, and all service fees are waived, so Airbnb doesn’t make any money on these stays. As a Host, you can help these funds stretch even further by offering free or discounted stays.
Answers to your frequently asked questions
How does the refugee housing program work, and who can participate?
Anyone with space available, from a private room to an entire home, can offer to temporarily house refugees through Airbnb.org. If you’re already a Host, you can opt into the program and make your listing available for free or at a discounted rate. If you’re new to Airbnb and want to host only for this cause, you can create a listing on Airbnb.org that will be free and available only to refugee guests.
How does Airbnb.org define “short-term housing” for refugees of the Ukraine crisis?
Airbnb.org is starting by funding and facilitating free stays of up to 14 days for refugee guests. As the situation in Ukraine evolves, Airbnb.org will continue to stay in contact with NGOs, resettlement agencies, and government leaders to understand and help support the specific housing needs of those affected by this crisis.
What happens after refugees’ short-term housing ends?
Airbnb.org works directly with nonprofits on the ground which are responsible for booking and coordinating stays for refugee guests. These nonprofits assign a caseworker to each refugee, who supports them in settling into their new community, finding permanent housing, pursuing work or educational opportunities, and more.
Is support only available for refugees who are Ukrainian?
Airbnb.org is committed to helping people from around the world with emergency housing needs. For the specific response to the crisis in Ukraine, Airbnb.org is working with NGO partners to provide assistance to refugees and asylum seekers fleeing Ukraine, regardless of nationality, race, or ethnicity.
Can people who have never hosted before sign up to provide housing?
Yes. Hosts can share information about Airbnb.org with anyone who has space to share and an interest in helping to host refugees. Anyone who is interested in supporting this initiative, including by offering free or discounted stays, can get involved.
How can I connect people I know who are affected by this crisis with emergency housing support?
Airbnb.org’s nonprofit partners coordinate assistance for our refugee guests. Refugees and asylum seekers fleeing Ukraine who are in need of immediate support can get connected to available resources from the UN Refugee Agency.