Vacation rental site Airbnb doubled the amount of temporary housing available to Afghan refugees across the world, the company announced Thursday.
Airbnb.org, the company’s nonprofit, initially offered 20,000 locations to temporarily house Afghan refugees and recently announced an additional 20,000 properties would be available if needed. The stays are funded by Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder Brian Chesky and through various donations including around 5,000 Airbnb hosts who offered free or discounted stays for Afghan refugees.
“Since that announcement, the need for temporary housing for Afghan refugees has continued to grow,” Airbnb said in a statement. “In the US alone, officials estimate 65,000 refugees are expected to arrive by the end of September and as many as 30,000 more in the year to come.”
Airbnb will provide housing for up to 40,000 Afghan refugees across the world, according to the company. The organization is working with nine resettlement agencies that have placed nearly 700 refugees at Airbnb properties across the U.S.
“Resettlement agencies expect bookings will increase as more Afghan evacuees move off military bases and into communities where they will resettle,” according to Airbnb. “Airbnb.org is also working closely with partners to assess temporary housing needs outside of the US with the goal of expanding to other countries that have committed to resettle a significant number of Afghan refugees.”
Airbnb host Mahmoud of Garrison, New York, is a State Department translator and Iranian refugee who signed up to host Afghan refugees, according to the company. He said he wants to participate in the program because he knows it’s important to find a community after resettling in a new country.
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