Private NYC Homes Open for Displaced Sandy Victims

By James Smith, University of Edinburgh
November 12, 2012 Updated: November 12, 2012

NEW YORK-Online lodging service Airbnb is now providing an avenue for people who have been displaced by Superstorm Sandy to link up with those who are offering rent free accommodation.

Airbnb is usually an online platform where homeowners advertise their homes as short term holiday accommodation. Taking a more humanitarian angle, the Airbnb website as of Sunday Nov. 11 offers 708 members who have opened their homes for free.

The generous act has prompted attention from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office who promptly formed a partnership with Airbnb on Nov. 7. “This new offering from Airbnb is another great way to match New Yorkers in need with those who have something to give,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

As of Nov. 7, 4,000 guests had been provided shelter. “We have been incredibly moved by the outpouring of sympathy and offers of assistance from our Airbnb community of users,” said Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky, who’s team has been working around the clock to ensure the platform continues to support all those in need.

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