Airbnb doubles down on promise to host Afghan refugees
End of August, Airbnb announced that it will provide free temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees. Now, thanks to its Airbnb.org non-profit, the company says it can go beyond its initial commitment. With the help of hosts and donors from across the United States, Airbnb announced today it is ready to temporarily house up to 40,000 refugees.
As Airbnb itself notes, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will maximize that capacity. “If demand for housing matches supply in communities where refugees are resettling, these new resources could help provide housing for an additional 20,000 Afghan refugees,” the company said.
Since announcing the initiative, Airbnb says it has helped place 675 Afghan refugees across the United States. “Resettlement agencies expect bookings to increase as more Afghan evacuees leave military bases for communities where they will relocate,” the company noted.
The need for temporary housing for Afghan refugees is dire, especially in the United States. Authorities estimate 65,000 refugees will arrive in the country by the end of the month. In addition, 30,000 more could arrive next year. And that’s right in the United States. In August, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said there were 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees worldwide. At this point, Airbnb said it was evaluating the possibility of expanding the availability of the program to other countries that have pledged to resettle Afghan refugees.