How Airbnb Is Helping Ukrainian Refugees Find Temporary Housing

Airbnb is using their nonprofit organization to provide a place to stay for Ukrainian refugees with the help of Hosts and donors.
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On February 28, Airbnb began its initiative to house Ukrainian refugees with a goal of a 100,000 to be put in temporary housing.

The war in Ukraine led to over 3 million Ukrainian refugees fleeing to neighboring countries. Airbnb is making an effort in offering housing through contributing hosts all over the world. Through an application process, hosts can offer their places for free or discounted prices that are paid by Airbnb or its donors. As of March 16, there have been more than 36,000 hosts who applied and 3,000 applications from the United States. 

Airbnb is working with the International Organization for Migration, a resettlement agency that helps with the migration process. “In order to provide housing to the refugees that they’re working with, that organization will be responsible for booking the stays on behalf of the refugees,” said Liz DeBold Fusco, Media Coordinator for North America Airbnb. “And they’ll be able to access all the homes of all the individuals who have signed up to date to share their homes.” 

Susan Bailey is offering her homes in Long Beach, California and in Denver, Colorado to Ukrainian refugees. She is a host at Airbnb.org and a member of Airbnb’s host advisory board, which are the voices of hosts in different areas of the world. Bailey has previously offered housing for 5 years at Airbnb.org. She housed 8 different families from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Republic of Congo, and Yemen. 

“We did it eight times and we had a couple of stays that were more than two months. What it led to is there is this beautiful gift of humanity. Even if you don’t speak the same language and you come from other countries, the human condition is a condition that is desirous of helping others,” said Bailey.

The thousands of American hosts offering their homes may not see their guests arrive for a while because the resettlement process could take years before refugees are relocated to the United States. Although last August, the Biden administration fastened the process for Afghans during the withdrawal of the U.S. military in Afghanistan. 

“The expectation will be [that] in the next several weeks we’ll begin to see an influx of many Ukrainian individuals, families, groups of two and three coming to the U.S., where they may have some connection,” said Bailey. “ Perhaps they know someone, they have a family member, a friend, someone in the United States so they may have some support,

For those unable to offer a place to stay, you can donate to Airbnb.org for short-term housing. If you can provide a place to stay, Bailey offers advice for future hosts. 

“It isn’t important necessarily how beautiful your linens are or what the setting is like. It is the spirit of affection and extending the olive branch and creating a place of comfort where they feel safe and at home.”


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