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I was thinking about listing as a volunteer host for Airbnb.Org but all I can see is a lot of self promotion on the .Org website. No way to find these listings via the Advanced Search option or otherwise, as far as I can tell. ( I understand you list on the regular Airbnb site)
I understand hosts partaking in the programme get a badge but this doesn’t help to find other listings…
I’ll put my two cents in here! Be careful of opening your home in the volunteer program. I totally understand the wish to help those in need, but there are expenses involved that Airbnb won’t cover such as a cleaning fee, homeowner’s insurance and utilities.
If a guests staying for free gets injured, they have the right to sue the homeowner and AirCover won’t pay a dime.
Airbnb gets great free publicity and bragging rights of helping thousands of folks without costing them a penny. Meanwhile, the host might get stuck with swatters, damage to the property, and the liability involved.
My two cents advice is, don’t do it. The best way to help those in need is by volunteering your time to an organization that helps those in need. Let the organization deal with the expenses and liabilities and you donate your time.
There are organizations seeking volunteers to teach English to refugees. Contact your local church or temple and inquire about their programs.
I’m sorry I sound so jaded and I’m not providing you with the information requested. Instead, I’m giving unsolicited advice.
Thanks Ritz3 for your input which makes a lot of sense. I do see Airbnb wanting to self promote here, but I also see it as an opportunity to help.
I’m already an active volunteer with Care4Calais, a non profit that helps asylum seekers, and have been working with them for a couple of years.
Once our clients get Leave to Remain they are passed to another agency, but housing is provided by the government, not the charity. And sometimes clients are caught short in between their hotel accommodation, which they are kicked out of a month after getting Leave to Remain, and their first rental accommodation.
Re bills I figure I’m paying them anyway so I’m ok with that.
Re potential of being sued, I think Uk is less litigious than US and so less of a concern here maybe.
I’m still at the research stage and may decide the risks too great, but I’d like to know more for now.
I’ve got a six bed house, volunteering my time is one thing but I’m interested in doing more
Thanks Helsi. Local refugee groups do not offer accommodation. Asylum seekers, unless unaccompanied children, are housed by the govenrment in hotels and once/if Leave to Remain is granted they are given an allowance to find accomodation. However sometimes they don’t find accomodation in time so I can see my accomodation being a useful bridge to some.
I would like to see other registered hosts to get an idea of whether this programme is actually being used by anyone! If I was to be their first/only host in my city, I’d like to be aware of that. Might also be good to talk to other hosts for feedback
I would echo what others have said- you would be better off to offer accommodation through an organization that finds temporary housing for refugees. While there may not be any local groups which offer this, there have to be other international organizations which collect lists of accommodation providers. In Canada plenty of people offered housing to Ukranians, Syrians, etc, fleeing their war-torn countries.
I wouldn’t particularly worry about getting sued- I’m sure most refugees would be so grateful to be offered housing that they surely aren’t going to try to sue their host because they tripped and broke their ankle going down the stairs- that’s rather piffling compared to getting bombed.
But I’ve read several posts over the years from hosts who listed on Airbnb.org and the people who were sent to them were not in dire need of housing, they were scammers who took advantage of the program to get free housing- Airbnb is apparently as diligent about vetting for this program as they are in general, despite their rhetoric- like not very.
So some hosts who offered free housing for Covid first responders, i.e. medical personnel in overwhelmed hospitals, had the guest show up with their entire family, even though they had a perfectly good home in their own town, the guest not seeming to go out much to work. Like they just fudged the whole thing for a free holiday.
And hosts have reported offering housing for domestic guests in their area whose homes were destroyed or unlivably damaged by forest fires, hurricanes, etc, and getting guests who had lied about that. I even read a post by a guest who was complaining that the free housing he had been placed at wasn’t in the area of LA where he wanted to be- it was “inconvenient” to where he wanted to go for whatever purpose. He had either lied about being a victim of a natural disaster or was incredibly ungrateful for the free housing he had scored.
As far as what Airbnb.org will pay for, as far as I’m aware, you don’t have to host on the program entirely free. I think there are options to have the guest pay a “reduced rate”, so that they do have to pay for utilities, amenities, etc., even if they aren’t paying for a roof over their heads.
For anyone who is interested, here is a lovely little podcast about a Russian woman in Canada who opened her home to Ukranian refugees.
Not all refugee housing programs are for permanent housing- many are designed as places where refugees can land, recover from their ordeal, get oriented to the new country, look for work, and then move on to more permanent housing.
I’m in the UK too so replied to you in that context. and based on my experience of hosting refugees.
I have provided accommodation in my home through local refugee groups for longer stays and a local homeless charity for young homeless people which included many refugees for short stays. You can also register with your local council to house refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine to offer accommodation. (I believe there are paid options).
I doubt Airbnb has asked hosts in the UK to host refugees. I’ve had my listing with them for nearly seven years and have never been contacted by them. During this time I haven’t heard of any UK hosts who have been approached by Airbnb to host refugees.
Personally having thought it through further, I probably wouldn’t offer through Airbnb as they don’t do any vetting of refugees to ensure a good fit like charities and local government does and they don’t offer any training or support either which you get from local charities. (I needed a DBS check, home visit and training before I was allowed to host).
The host programme by the UK government for Ukrainian refugees has not worked well.
Many women and single parents were targeted by men seeking to exploit them. It got so bad that the UK government were forced to stop allowing single men to host female refugees.
Many were unhappy with their location as they ended up in the country when they wanted to be in the city. And many have found after the 6/12 months expired they aren’t able to find rented accommodation in popular areas as they don’t earn enough or don’t have a job so can’t afford the rent. They are now being housed at council tax payers expense in hotels.
Gosh not permanent no! But as mentioned I’m looking to offer short term. Unfortunately they can’t just land, recover, get orientated and look for work though. It’s such a long winded and difficult process. Most of the residents in the hotels that we cover have been there for more than a year. And working is not permitted until way down the line, way way down. If and when Leave to Remain has been offered . People wait years for this
Thank you! Were you with . Org or regular Airbnb?
As mentioned to Muddy earlier, Air only taking guests through .Org via recognised charities.
Yes, refugees are one of the groups that Air. Org will consider. It’s one of the handful of categories they mention on their site…
I offered rooms for young people via short term charities before but I’m not eligible now since I host Airbnb
As I mentioned in my earlier posts I registered with airbnb.org when I started seven years ago @Bosty64. I’ve never been contacted by them to host anyone. Yes they do work with local charities but the don’t have any sort of vetting or support programme.
I still host young people in my home in between airbnb guests - why would doing STRs make you ineligible to do this?
Can I ask why you think the UK government Ukraine refugee scheme is ‘working really well’?
I hosted some so called flood victims last year……never ever again. I had theft, damage, smoking, huge dogs that and peed inside and destroyed furniture . My milk of human kindness rapidly turned to rotten yoghurt!
If they don’t pay for it they don’t appreciate it.