COVID-19: Airbnb to offer free or subsidised housing to 100,000 relief workers

KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): Airbnb will provide free or subsidised housing for up to 100,000 relief workers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, AFP reported today.

Airbnb said in a statement that it would subsidise the stays of health professionals and emergency responders to enable them to live closer to their work places.

The home-sharing platform explained that the effort is being made “in cooperation with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps and other non-profit organisations”.

The company has also asked its hosts to offer housing for free, and added that it would also be waiving all its fees.

Chief executive Brian Chesky explained that “hosts may opt in to offer homes that respect safety and cleanliness protocols”.

In Malaysia, the ECM Libra Foundation, together with the support of the Ormond Group is already providing free accommodation for health care workers from the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (HKL).

This will assist frontline health care workers battling the COVID-19 crisis who, after working long shifts and have difficulties in going home before reporting for duty again, to get some respite rather than sleep in corridors and on stretchers as has been occurring.

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