Airbnb and Hope Air — an organization dedicated to providing arrangements for Canadians in financial need travelling to vital medical care far from home — announced they are working together to provide free or subsidized temporary places to stay to frontline responders in Toronto and Vancouver. The collaboration is part of Airbnb’s Frontline Stays program, a global initiative to provide accommodations for medical personnel, relief workers and other first responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.
Hope Air will leverage its relationships with hospitals and healthcare institutions in Vancouver and Toronto to identify frontline workers and responders in need of comfortable and convenient stays that allow them to be close to their patients and safely distanced from their families. Frontline responders can submit an application to Hope Air to access stays through Airbnb’s Frontline stays program. This collaboration builds on the existing partnership and ongoing efforts between Airbnb and Hope Air to arrange free travel and accommodations for patients who need vital medical care far from home.
“Frontline responders are providing lifesaving support during the COVID-19 pandemic and our host community has stepped up to help,” said Alex Dagg, Policy Manager, Airbnb. “We are grateful for the generosity our host community has shown during these difficult times and look forward to continuing to work with organizations like Hope Air to place frontline workers in convenient and comfortable places during these difficult times.”
New and existing hosts willing and able to provide their homes via the program can learn more by visiting www.airbnb.com/frontlinestays. Airbnb will waive its service fees on the first 100,000 stays booked through the Frontline Stays program.
“We are very pleased to be working with Airbnb on this worthy initiative,” said Mark Rubinstein, CEO of Hope Air. “Frontline workers are essential during these unprecedented times, and we will do our part to support them as they work so diligently to care for patients.”
Accommodation for relief and medical workers, who have higher exposure to COVID-19, requires hosts to take additional preventative measures and follow enhanced cleaning guidelines. Since the crisis began, Airbnb has worked with leading experts and officials to develop cleaning standards. Last week, the company announced its 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.
For any hosts interested in joining this community of Frontline stays, please sign up here. Partners who have a need visit here to learn more and sign up for support. COVID-19 responders not affiliated with Hope Air can get started here. And anyone who may not be able to open a home, but still would like to help, can donate to help fund even more stays.