Working with SEIU Healthcare to Support Frontline Responders in Toronto

Airbnb and SEIU Healthcare – the largest healthcare union in Canada – announced a new partnership to provide accommodations to SEIU Healthcare members, who are fighting on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis. Through this partnership, SEIU Healthcare members in the Greater Toronto Area will receive direct access to book free stays via Airbnb’s Frontline stays program.

To help fund these stays, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has committed nearly $500,000 USD ($700,000 CAD) of his personal money toward this effort. This contribution will go towards paying Toronto-area hosts to help fulfill stays for the responders via the Airbnb platform and for stays via HotelTonight (part of the Airbnb family).

“We are in constant awe of the dedication and resilience of frontline responders who risk their health and lives to protect and care for our communities,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-founder, CEO and Head of Community. “Hosts across Canada have opened their doors and offered places to stay for frontline responders, we’re grateful for their generosity and commitment to help. We’re also thankful for the leadership of SEIU Healthcare and Greater Toronto Area mayors – who were instrumental in working with us to help fill this important need.”

“SEIU Healthcare members are on the frontline of this crisis, working to care for the sick and protect the public from exposure, this partnership will provide necessary places to rest between shifts,” said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare. “We’re grateful to Airbnb for the partnership and recognition of the needs of our members.” 

Airbnb has formed similar partnerships to support frontline responders in New York, New Orleans and Los Angeles. 

While the no-cost stays are being booked through SEIU Healthcare, frontline responders can also book free and paid stays directly on the Airbnb platform by visiting Airbnb will waive its service fees on the first 100,000 stays booked through the Frontline stays program.

“I am very appreciative of our frontline workers and for this collaboration between SEIU Healthcare and Airbnb, which will help keep workers and their families safe,” said Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown. 

Accommodation for relief and medical workers, who have higher exposure to COVID-19, requires hosts that have agreed to take additional preventative measures and follow enhanced cleaning standards. Since the crisis began, Airbnb has worked with leading experts and officials to develop cleaning standards. Earlier this week, we announced our next iteration of this effort with the Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, which includes the first overarching standardized protocol for cleaning and sanitization in the home sharing industry. 

New and existing hosts interested in supporting Frontline responders can sign up here. Partners who have a need visit here to learn more and sign up for support. If you are a COVID-19 responder, get started here.  And anyone who may not be able to open their home, but still would like to help, can donate to help fund even more stays.