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Any “Open Homes” participants?


#1

Anyone else “invited” to participate in ABB’s “Open Homes” project?

It’s sounds like a real humdinger… but I’d certainly be interested in hearing from others who are considering it or are active participants.

The big question is: does ABB offer any payment? Or are we expected to eat all the costs associated with it?


#2

I haven’t been invited but I’m almost never available anyway. I would sign up if I was.

I don’t know the answer on payment, I assume we eat the cost or maybe we offer reduced rates. Of course the Airbnb “info” site is silent on this important question.


#3

Hi! I enrolled in open homes, although so far did not get a request for a stay. My understanding is that there is no compensation for this, since the aim is to help people who cannot afford housing for a while. I believe you get requests and can always decide to accept or not.


#4

I have signed on to this program. I assumed all cost for hosting people in need are on me and that Airbnb works to match people with hosts signed on to this program. You can host those in need for a night, a week, 6 months - you set what you can do. It’s really cool how this gesture can truly make a difference in people’s lives.


#5

This is a programme for people in need, often in tragic circumstances. It wouldn’t feel right asking for payment.


#6

Yes, I’ve read ABB’s pressers. Are you enrolled?

I’m all for helping the needy, but I’d feel better about participating if ABB put some skin in the game also. Even an offer of 25% FMV… but as it stands, it feels like good press for ABB all at the hosts expense. If I was a company that earned 93 million dollars last year I wouldn’t feel right about asking my customers to bear 90%+ of the costs of this endeavor… You don’t see ABB letting a “feeling” get in the way of their business decision, and I’m trying hard not to either!


#7

I signed up 2 years ago but never got asked. Now that I’m nearly always booked, I took the service off my account.


#8

‘Ask’ being the operative word. No one is forced to take part. Yes, it’s great publicity for Airbnb and therefore good for all hosts. I’d much rather the media concentrate on this than write about exaggerated ‘horror stories’. If the media want to write about Airbnb, and they do, then by all means feed out positive stuff to write about.


#9

Doesn’t operate in my country - and I host young homeless people a few days a month, so that’s my focus when providing support for those in need.

It doesn’t matter to me that Airbnb doesn’t subsidise hosts who kindly donate their space. Lots of people do voluntary activities for which they do not get paid. Airbnb invests its resources in running the scheme and promoting it.

This is just another voluntary way of supporting those in need.


#10

I am interested in Open Home but with my accountant hat on in the U.S. it could be tax disadvantageous if you report income on schedule E. If you really want to help others, of course this may not matter to you anyway.
Let’s say you did a renovation or purchased new furniture, you use your elections to expense everything immediately instead of amortizing and taking a depreciation expense, so you have a loss on running your Airbnb that year. You normally keep your personal use days under 14 (or 10% of the rental days) to avoid it being classified as residence and allowing you to generate passive loss (up to $25,000 of which can offset your active income if you are under the applicable modified adjusted gross income threshold.) Open Home use is not a charitable contribution, even if you are arranging with a charity instead of an individual, because you are not transferring ownership interest. I believe the use would be considered personal days, because the “rent” is under market rate – free, actually.
At a maximum, the Open Home use could push you over the personal day limit and you would not have the same passive loss advantage (you can carry the loss forward, but only for that rental – not to offset other passive gains – and you don’t get the $25,000 loss against active income if you would otherwise qualify for that). At a minimum, you are going to decrease your rental over rental + personal days ratio and reduce your allowable expense deductions.
Any other interpretations out there?


#11

It is not paid. Your booking will appear as $0 on the statement and you are still responsible to do your own vetting.

I can understand how this can be stressful on a host. We are currently hosting a displaced single mom and her three children from Malibu between our paid bookings. Because of the back to back nature, we are paying out of pocket to have it professionally cleaned afterwards. Costs do add up and it is not without sacrifice. But it is worth it just to help in any way we can. However long we can.

For us, going into December, it is impossible for us to operate at $0 due to our mortgage, utilities, and cleaning costs. But we have figured out a net 0 price for long term stays that we feel comfortable disclosing to people who absolutely need it.

Our Open Home family + dog has just checked in and they are so sweet. We would absolutely recommend doing it. No question.


#12

I signed up for Open Homes and will report back on any bookings. As my first complaint (!), who the heck designs these Airbnb features? I clicked a number of “Next” buttons on the Open Home site/function, and voila, I was registered WITHOUT warning. No “Submit” or “Confirm” that I wanted to actually participate in Open Homes. And, when I clicked around the site, and Airbnb help, and Googled, absolutely no information on or way to cancel Open Homes participation that I could find.


#13

You can cancel Open Homes participation by going into your Listing and it should be one of the bottom options as you scroll down past edit Description, etc.

I think Airbnb would do good by providing a checklist of what to expect before clicking Accept. Like tips on how to vet, if you accept pets (it saves the family from having to board and is very helpful), and how to deactivate when you are at capacity. We have a large home, and I would actually be curious if there was a way to open your home to more than just one family at a time. I felt so guilty having to turn people away due to availability.


#14

It is a huge commitment to accommodate homeless people. We have quite a few because of the weather, and because of our immigration policy and the community circles I run in.

I have accommodated homeless people in the past and am accommodating one presently. The wheels move very slowly when it comes to restitution and new digs. Count on keeping them a lot longer.

A word to the wise: don’t expect them to be grateful, help out, or be jolly. They are also going to be high maintenance. Think of it in terms of it’s own reward.

What put me off Air’s program is that they, not the host, take credit. This isn’t a $20 toss in the hat.


#15

Oh yes, expecting it not to be simple. I’ve already decided I will not book anyone individually for an Open Homes pro bono stay, only through a nonprofit or other organization.


#16

I would love to be in the position to give people free housing that need it. But I’m not. I barely make ends meet as it is. At the moment, with the clusterfuck that is going on in the uk, I’m thinking of selling up and moving to a cabin in the woods. I would be willing to offer my spare dates to those in need if Airbnb covered 50%. Otherwise, no can do.


#17

I do undertand @Magwitch.

I volunteer for a scheme operating around the country where vetted hosts provide a home for a night or two to vetted young people experiencing homelessness to give the charity time to find the young person something more permanent.

Airbnb is not my only or main source of income, so I can afford to act as a voluntary host for young homeless people in my home, so that’s what I do.

I am sure there are lots of other hosts in the UK in my position who could afford to do this even if it is only for a few nights a month. And there must be similar schemes operating in other countries where hosts could help.

It makes such a difference to their lives. One of the young people I helped is now studying law at university, another has gone into the army and another is training to be a chef.


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