There are a lot of people who believe that Airbnb is crippling local communities by eliminating properties from the rental market and displacing residents in favor of tourists all year round, but a new program from the service might be a good way for guilty gentrifiers to relieve their consciences. It’s called Open Homes, and it allows Airbnb hosts to open up their homes as free shelters in the event of emergencies.
Open Homes registration happens before the worst happens, so hosts will be ready to provide shelter by the time it does. Right now, it’s only being tested in San Jose, California, but Airbnb says that the spirit of the program has been alive and well for years:
“Since 2012, the Airbnb host community has provided free short term housing to thousands of people in safe, welcoming places while they rebuild their lives after disasters, wars, conflict, or other factors. Join us by opening your home and help make a difference.”
For more info on Airbnb Open Homes, head over to the program’s official site right here.