In the two weeks since the Taliban took hold of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, roughly 105,000 people have been evacuated, in one of the largest airlifts in U.S. history. While an estimated 5,100 evacuees are American citizens, the rest are Afghan individuals and families, many now facing housing insecurity.
If you’re looking for ways to help—and happen to have room to spare in your home—you may want to consider temporarily hosting Afghan refugees. One way to do that is through Airbnb. But you don’t have to be an established host on the site to volunteer. Here’s what to know about the process.
How to house Afghan refugees via Airbnb
Last week, Airbnb announced that it would offer free, temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide. Since then, the company says that has received requests from hosts, as well as people who’ve never used the vacation rental site before, asking how they can offer space in their homes to people displaced by the humanitarian crisis. If you’re among them, there are now some answers.
To start with, if you’re not already an Airbnb host, you’ll need to create an account and listing that will be used exclusively for providing free stays to aid with disaster relief. Existing hosts have the option of listing their properties either for free, or at a discount. As usual, the hosts have the ability to decide whether or not to accept someone’s request to stay.
Once a booking has been made, the host must provide their guests with basic necessities including:
- Toilet paper
- Linens / sheets
- At least 1 towel per booked guest
- At least 1 pillow per booked guest
Finally, according to Airbnb, the company will provide hosts with community support and nonprofit resources to navigate the experience, as well as up to $1,000,000 in property damage protection in the event that any would occur. You can find more about the program on the company’s website.