It’s time to help each other. Join us to provide relief for Hurricane Sandy victims.

About Vivek Wagle
Sandy-blog-title

We’ve been overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of the Airbnb community in response to Hurricane Sandy. Airbnb has seen nearly 2500 last-minute bookings for affected areas. That’s more than 4000 guests given shelter. Hundreds of those bookings came from people who live in the affected areas who needed a place to stay.

We need to do even more.

There are thousands more people in need of shelter. And there are still thousands of people with extra space. It’s time to come together.

Airbnb is now enabling people to offer space to those in need – absolutely free. People who wish to share their space at no cost to guests can sign up immediately. Airbnb Customer Service will be on hand to help any hosts with questions and issues.

People who have need of shelter can then access these free spaces via our Donated Sandy Housing List.

Airbnb will recoup no fees from these free listings.

Let’s see what happens when we all come together to share with those in need.

Here are some answers to questions you may have:

I’ve already booked a trip to one of these regions. Can I move my reservation to a free listing?
All previously accepted reservations are still valid. Any guest cancellations will be subject to the Airbnb cancellation policy on the reservation.

 

What if I can’t find any available free listings?
Airbnb is working to get as many donated listings online as possible. If you are unable to find anything available, check out the Discounted Sandy Listings page.

 

As a host, am I still covered by the Host Guarantee?
Yes. As long as the booking is made through Airbnb, you are covered by the $1,000,000 Host Guarantee.

 

As a guest, why am I being prompted for my credit card information?
Airbnb needs to verify your identity in order to complete the booking. This is done by providing us with a valid credit card. If the reservation request is for a free listing, you will not be charged.

 

I am a host and want to donate my space. How can I tell people?
If you are hosting in the affected area, we will automatically showcase your listing in our Donated Sandy Listings List.  

 

What if I live/am traveling outside the regions?
We have identified these regions as those most affected by Hurricane Sandy. Pricing and fees in other regions will continue as usual.

25 comments

About Vivek Wagle

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  1. Georgia Scott

    Can guests still leave reviews? In my experience, guests who get a discount are the most demanding and often leave negative reviews because they simply want more. I would be heart broken if I was kind enough to open my home for free and be given a lousy review because, maybe I couldn’t afford other amenities, or some other complaint.

  2. lynn

    It’s not very clear…how will we know if our place is being offered to merely visitors to NYC, versus NYC residents who are temporarily homeless due to the hurricane? And what kinds of information will we be provided beforehand on these NYC residents? Must they all sign up with Airbnb and create an account in order to utililtize this special offer?

  3. Vivek Wagle

    @Georgia – Guests can leave reviews. However, we understand that this is a special situation. Although the system is based on trust, if you have any issues with a negative review on a free listing, please contact our Customer Service department.@lynn – All of the prospective guests must sign up with Airbnb to request a space. You will have full communication with and vetting of any potential guests prior to accepting a booking.

  4. Emily

    How will Airbnb vet prospective guests? Hate to be cynical, but there are some con artists out there. What kind of proof can people provide that they’ve been forced out of their homes by Hurricane Sandy?

  5. Pauline Labib

    My roommate and I would be happy to host someone in our living room in Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Is that a relevant area, and how am I supposed to sign up? It looks like I should offer either a room or an entire apartment… Thanks!

  6. Vivek Wagle

    @Pauline – just go to http://www.airbnb.com/sandy (linked above) to sign up! Thank you so much.

  7. sharone

    I have a studio but if there is someone or two who would be OK with crashing on a blowup mattress, I could offer that…Does that relevant?

  8. Vivek Wagle

    @sharone – absolutely! Thank you.

  9. Vivek Wagle

    @Emily – guests will still need to sign up on Airbnb. We’ll provide the same vetting and communication tools to hosts as we do for any normal prospective guests. Hosts should never accept any bookings until they are completely confident of their guests.

  10. pauline

    Tried to sign up but it looks like I’m not in a relevant area (Williamsburg, 11211). How can I be sure of that? Any place where relevant areas are listed? Thanks!

  11. Vivek Wagle

    @pauline – we are working on a fix. Williamsburg is definitely a much-needed area! Please contact our Customer Service department, who can help you create your listing.

  12. RY

    2 questions – How do you verify that the people in need are really those affected by Sandy? and – AirBNB is usually done for a relatively short period of time. What does one do if the people who stay through the free listing don’t have a place to go after the period of time we/they signed up for? (we can offer a room for 2 weeks) ?

  13. Vivek Wagle

    @RY – please see the earlier comment. Vetting and communication are key. Also, we will constantly be checking out the program to make sure that we can meet the needs of affected locals.

  14. Madison

    I tried signing up but it won’t let me because it says it’s only for certain areas. I’m in S. Brooklyn (Kensington), seems like a pretty helpful area to me since I’m near Red Hook, Coney Island, and not far from the Rockaways. I want to help! ????

  15. Vivek Wagle

    @Madison – Oh no! Please contact our Customer Service department. They can help.

  16. Pauline Labib

    Unfortunately Customer Service can’t help. I called them earlier and they said the only way to register was online. They say they’ve had a lot of problems with the website today due to high traffic, and that it should be fixed soon. The only way is to try to sign up regularly. Apparently all areas in Brooklyn are relevant.

  17. Vivek Wagle

    @Pauline – thank you for following up. I can confirm that the Brooklyn listings should be eligible. The issue should be fixed within an hour.

  18. jane martin

    Is anything like this going to take place in N.J.

  19. Vivek Wagle

    @jane – yes, we are adding NJ ASAP

  20. Laura

    Is there any chance NYC might offer a small reimbursement to people who are willing to offer housing – i.e. the City doing a type of ‘voucher’ system? The reason is that there may be even MORE people who would offer their apartments if a small reimbursement were included – not out of a ‘profit’ incentive, but because some people may rely upon Air BnB ‘income’ as part of their incomes. So a reimbursement from the City of New York might allow those individuals who would love to offer their Air BnB apts. (but need the income for basic survival) – to do so. Hope that makes sense… ! Laura

  21. Karina

    Thank you AirBNB for facilitating this! Your response has been wonderful. I’ve been wanting to help those affected by the hurricane and this is the perfect way. Thank you for making it possible (and easy) for us to help out.

  22. Henry Douglas

    Tried to sign up but it looks like I’m not in a relevant area (Williamsburg, 11211). How can I be sure of that? Any place where relevant areas are listed?Thanks! <a href="http://www.ciriusquality.com.br&quot; title="iso 9001" alt="iso 9001">ISO 9001</a>

  23. Vivek Wagle

    @Henry – you should be able to sign up from Williamsburg. If it’s not working, please contact our Customer Service department.

  24. jenneyhenderson Henderson

    I don’t live in a relevant area, but I have passed the word on to people that have housing and also to people that need housing. I am so pleased to see so many people willing to help those in need! I love airbnb, but even more now than before!!

  25. amy

    Yesterday I tried to book for someone in a shelter who has no internet access, I have an acct and profile and was logged in to book. My intention was to make an inquiry fo the host to see if they would be willing to host this person. I went to several Sandy listings and for everyone of them got the message that those dates were booked, when I used the contact button, even though those dates were showing available on the calendar! What’s up?