Airbnb offers free housing for hurricane evacuees

Published 4:43 pm Thursday, September 13, 2018

With evacuees coming to Northeast Tennessee as a result of Hurricane Florence, Airbnb is looking to do its part to help those needing shelter.

The company announced this week that it has activated its Disaster Response Program throughout East Tennessee, including the Tri-Cities, greater Knoxville area and greater Chattanooga area for evacuees, allowing free housing.

According to the company, Airbnb’s Disaster Response program is activated in the event of major emergencies and connects local residents who have been displaced to find temporary accommodations with nearby Airbnb hosts who are opening their homes free of charge.

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“We encourage hosts in these areas to help those in need by listing their available rooms or homes on the platform for free,” said Kim Rubey, Airbnb’s Global Head of Social Impact and Philanthropy. “Our thoughts continue to be with everyone in the path of the storm, and we thank the dedicated government and emergency response personnel who are keeping our communities safe.”

The program has been activated to assist storm evacuees and emergency relief workers from now until Oct. 1, 2018.

Airbnb first offered the program in 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and has since grown it into a global disaster response.

As of Thursday, Sept. 13, there was one Airbnb in Carter County that opened their doors to the evacuees — Elysium Farm. They can be contacted via Facebook for more information.

Individuals seeking shelter or wanting to open their Airbnb for no charge can visit for more information.