Airbnb to provide free housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees in Europe

Short-term housing will be provided free of charge, starting with accommodation in Romania, Poland, Germany and Hungary

Airbnb will host 100,000 Ukrainian refugees in Europe in free short-term accommodation. Photo: Airbnb
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Ukrainians fleeing their country as Russia attacks will be offered short-term places to stay free of charge by Airbnb.

The platform is seeking to assist refugees in Europe. Airbnb co-founder and chief executive Brian Chesky has contacted leaders in Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania, offering the company's support for Ukrainians within their borders.

The move is being powered by Airbnb.org, the non-profit arm of the accommodation bookings portal, which was formed to help provide temporary housing during times of crisis.

No further information was provided on how long free short-term stays will be for, but the company said it will also work with the respective governments to support longer-term efforts.

Costs of these stays will be covered by Airbnb, as well as from the company's refugee fund and from hosts willing to provide discounted or free accommodation.

Ukraine has seen crowds and traffic jams at border points as people try to leave the country. More than five million residents have crossed the border since fighting began, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Monday.

The majority of these have escaped to Poland. On Friday, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the country's border was open “for all Ukrainians, even those without a valid ID document.”

The broken chain sculpture in Tauentzienstrasse, Berlin. Airbnb has contacted authorities in Germany, Poland, Hungary and Romania to offer accommodation support to Ukrainians fleeing their country. Photo: Airbnb

How to help refugees in Europe?

Airbnb.org will work directly through non-profits on the ground, who are responsible for booking and co-ordinating stays for refugee guests in each country.

People interested in hosting refugees can register on the Airbnb website where those unable to host can get involved by donating to help cover the costs of temporary lodgings.

Last week, Airbnb announced it had provided temporary accommodation to 21,300 Afghan refugees.

Updated: March 01, 2022, 12:24 PM