Managed by Brian Chesky, from Niskayuna, Airbnb will temporarily house 20,000 Afghan refugees

ALBANY – Airbnb will provide free temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees around the world, the company said on Tuesday, citing a rapidly changing situation as the United States scrambles to get its allies out of the war-torn country.

The company will work with resettlement agencies and partners to meet needs as they arise.

“As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettle around the world, their stay will be the first chapter of their new life,” Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky, from Niskayuna, said in a statement. .

“For these 20,000 refugees, I hope the Airbnb community will not only provide them with a safe place to rest and start over, but also a warm welcome. “

The effort will be funded by contributions from Airbnb, Chesky and other donors to a designated $ 25 million fund established by the company.

Airbnb did not disclose the financial extent of its commitment or the duration of the extension of the offer.

Over the past four years, the company said it has connected around 25,000 refugees – including hundreds participating in the US Special Immigrant Visa program – to temporary housing.

A Taliban spokesman said on Tuesday that the United States must complete the evacuation of people from Afghanistan by August 31, the date set by the Biden administration for the withdrawal of all American troops, reported the ‘Associated Press.

Despite bipartisan retreat and pressure from European G-7 allies, President Joe Biden said he meet this deadline. About 21,600 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan in the past 24 hours, CNN reported on Tuesday, and approximately 58,700 people since August 14.

Over the past weekend, worked with its partners to place 165 refugees soon after arriving in the United States, the company said.

A quick read from Airbnb on Tuesday revealed more than 300 Airbnb units available in Albany, more than 90 in Schenectady and 140 in Troy, not counting units scattered throughout the suburb.

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants-Albany, the agency responsible for resettling refugees and immigrants in the capital region, did not immediately respond to comments on Tuesday.

But the agency spoke of an urgent need to find housing for arriving families, many from Afghanistan, and sent an appeal for housing to local stakeholders last week, according to a note obtained by the Times Union. .

“The moratorium on evictions has meant that our usual owners have no more apartments available at the moment,” the note read. “Our greatest need is for clean, affordable housing in safe neighborhoods on downtown Albany bus routes.

Several apartments will be needed in September, according to the memo.

In the past four years, around 5,000 refugees have come to New York City, according to data from the state’s Bureau of Population.

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