Airbnb expands housing initiative for Afghan refugees

This week Airbnb launched a new initiative to provide temporary housing around the world for Afghan refugees.

This week, Airbnb launched a new initiative to provide temporary housing across the world for 20,000 Afghan refugees.

Following a turbulent week in the Middle East, the company is now expanding its efforts to help more in need.

Over the last 48 hours, Airbnb says there has been an incredible outpouring of support from its hosting community and others who simply want to help the company’s mission.

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As a result, there’s a new tool on allowing anyone with available space to help provide temporary housing for a now estimated 50,000 Afghan refugees resettling in the United States.

This link will allow the company to freely host well beyond its original goal of 20,000 refugees.

Airbnb hosts or even just those with extra space can sign up.

You’ll need to provide information on where you live, how many people you can accommodate, where the space is located, and over what period of time your space is open to be used.

When the need arises, Airbnb will contact you.

The company’s head of global public affairs said Jacksonville will be a city that’s much needed for this effort.

“We’ve heard from our partners over the last couple of days that Jacksonville is one of the markets where they know there’s going to be a big need for temporary housing,” Christopher Nultey said. “And you know we expect to be providing housing and we know these organizations expect to be resettling people in cities big and small across the country. But we have heard Jacksonville is going to be one place where there is quite a need. In terms of the timing, it really is so situationally dependent. Our understanding is that need is days to weeks, not weeks to months.”

Nultey said over the last 48 hours, members of two particular communities have stepped up to offer more space.

“Over the last 48 hours the number of people we’ve heard from, in particular there’s two things that stood out. One is we’ve heard from a number of American veterans for whom this issue is very personal, and we’ve heard from a number of former refugees themselves who have resettled in the United States for whom this issue is also very personal,” Nultey said.

Nultey said both groups are stepping up in a big way.

“It’s been really just incredible to hear these stories and it’s an incredible reminder as well that these are moments of real shared humanity, that this is an issue that so many people across this country feel very called to do their part,” said Nultey.

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