Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Airbnb aims to offer free housing to COVID-19 responders

A new option would let hosts offer homes for free to health care workers and first responders.

Rae Hodge Former senior editor
Rae Hodge was a senior editor at CNET. She led CNET's coverage of privacy and cybersecurity tools from July 2019 to January 2023. As a data-driven investigative journalist on the software and services team, she reviewed VPNs, password managers, antivirus software, anti-surveillance methods and ethics in tech. Prior to joining CNET in 2019, Rae spent nearly a decade covering politics and protests for the AP, NPR, the BBC and other local and international outlets.
Rae Hodge
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Airbnb will work with its network of hosts to help provide temporary housing to 100,000 COVID-19 responders and health care professionals, the company said Thursday. The expanded efforts build on pilot programs in Italy and France, where nearly 6,000 hosts have already offered their homes, according to a press release. 

In the new program, hosts can opt to open their homes for free through Airbnb's emergency-housing Open Homes platform, created in 2012. Airbnb also said it will waive all fees for any guest's stay if hosts can't offer their residences for free. The company said it will implement stricter sanitizing and safety measures at the participating residences. 

Watch this: Coronavirus lockdown: Why social distancing saves lives

"Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help," Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia said in the release. "We've heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times."

For further information on participating, hosts can visit Airbnb's COVID-19 relief website

Fighting coronavirus: COVID-19 tests, vaccine research, masks, ventilators and more

See all photos