Airbnb Colorado Opens Homes to People in Times of Disaster
In an effort to strengthen Northern Colorado's emergency preparedness, Airbnb has partnered with local agencies to provide local access to temporary housing during times of disaster.
According to a news release, the Boulder County Department of Housing & Human Services partnered with the online housing company to identify hosts willing to open their homes and provide free housing for those displaced by disasters. The collaboration will also work to gather service workers in the area to help with the response.
In times of need, emergency responders can work with these housing hosts to find temporary housing. The agreement also holds Airbnb accountable for providing training and educational materials to its hosts.
Frank Alexander, BCDHHS Director, says this partnership between the health and human services department and Airbnb helps provide a grassroots way for our community to help others during a disaster.
"Three years ago, our community was hit hard by historic and devastating flooding," he said. "The lack of short-term housing for those displaced from their homes was one of the biggest challenges our neighbors faced in the days and weeks that followed."
A similar partnership helped victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and has since set up other initiatives in the U.S. and all over the world including Victoria, Australia, Auckland, New Zealand, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, California. This is Colorado's first disaster response partnership with Airbnb.
"When Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, 1,400 Airbnb hosts in New York opened doors and cooked meals for those left stranded," said Kellie Bentz, Head of Global Disaster Response & Relief for Airbnb. "We were inspired by these stories to build a disaster response initiative with our [Airbnb] community. This agreement with Boulder County is an exciting next step forward in this commitment."