Open Home Program Think Twice!

That, I have no issue with. In fact, while you feel rewarded, the difference to the kids you’ve helped is probably immeasurable. However, I do think comparing what you do, to these Airbnb schemes, is a little bit like comparing apples and mermaids.



I volunteered for Open Homes after the El Paso Wal-Mart shooting. I had also contacted the El Paso Community Foundation, the city of El Paso and the office of Rep. Veronica Escobar to let them know. The El Paso Community Foundation messaged me with the contact information of the Airbnb contact person who was in town to assist in coordinating matching victim families with volunteer hosts. I also spoke to him on the phone. At one point they thought they might have a family that would need to be here for a month and Denis said that on such a long stay they would pay for the remainder of the stay over the 22 days I was volunteering. Ultimately my room didn’t match with any of the families they had contact with. I don’t know anything about the allegation that Airbnb still takes their fees; I was told (but can’t confirm) that there would be no fees. I also have in writing that Airbnb was looking for hosts to volunteer but they would also pay hosts if necessary in order to have enough supply. This disaster was on a tiny scale compared to a hurricane or wildfire but it was an impressive effort on Airbnb’s part.

As Helsi pointed out, even with hosts volunteering Airbnb still incurs significant costs administering a program like this. It’s designed to match people willing to donate space with people who need it. They are leveraging infrastructure that is already in place to meet a need that is already in place. They aren’t pressuring or shaming anyone to participate. I guarantee you there are people who want to participate and appreciate Airbnb’s effort to facilitate it, but ultimately it’s the same listing service. Unless a crime is involved there is no vetting on Airbnb’s part. This is and always will be your job as a host.

Calling it an Airbnb scheme strikes me as petty and definitely in the “no good deed goes unbitched about” category. It doesn’t matter what they do or how much they donate there will always be a group of hosts more than willing to bite the hand that has fed them.




a large-scale systematic plan or arrangement for attaining some particular object or putting a particular idea into effect.

synonyms: plan, project, plan of action, programme, strategy, stratagem, game plan

What’s petty about the term scheme?

Airbnb don’t feed me. Airbnb are an OTA like very other one out there, and are a very different beast to the Airbnb many of us knew a few years ago.

They are not supposed to take fees, but @Seattlegal suggests otherwise.


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Thank you @JohnF.

Maybe I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t comparing the two.

I was just pointing out that there are a number of schemes where people give up rooms in their homes or space in their second, third, fourth or fifth homes for those who have nowhere to go, without feeling the need to be financially compensated for doing so.


Ok, point taken. The problem isn’t the term scheme. My issue is with the petty snarkiness apparent in multiple posts, not just yours. The whiny “we’re doing all the work, Airbnb is taking the credit” rhetoric. One would think Airbnb is forcing people to participate.

I repeat, I wasn’t just replying to you. I didn’t tag or quote you. In general I see a lot of bitching here about Airbnb. That’s fine, it’s not a support group but it is a place to vent. But I also see a lot of gnashing of teeth when someone drops out of sight, gets delisted, gets taken off instant book and so on. Multiple people have posted here that their business is destroyed when Airbnb kicks them off the platform. I, for one, would not be in this business without Airbnb.

People posting here certainly do bite the hand that is feeding them.

She certainly did and I didn’t dispute that. Seattlegal told her story and I told mine.

Not a shame but rather prudent to want the basic expenses covered, someone has to pay them. It cost money to pay a mortgage, electricity, insurance, HOA dues - those dont get paid by allowing people inside for free. Thats a basic reality. Airbnb could easily cover the daily expense cost on behalf of a displaced person they want to offer an “Open Homes” listing to.

The whole point in helping out someone in need isn’t to co-experience suffering and hurt yourself in the process - why would I go into debt for a stranger who’s come to me at the suggestion of a billion dollar company who isn’t offering to subsidize the displaced person? I’m very charitable, but not at my own family’s expense and well being.

Sorry, not sorry - nor ashamed.


Didn’t say you should be ashamed @sobepuppy I said it was a shame, perhaps pity would have been a better word.

Lots of people who give to charity have mortgages to pay and expenses to cover. It doesn’t stop them from giving in cash or kind.

It’s rather silly to say you would get into debt. People like @jaquo and myself cover any costs from our Airbnb income.


No, you said it is a shame. Maybe for you, not for me. Neither a pity in my mind.

Lots of people ensure their business is covered before extending charity, doesn’t mean their choice in discretion is a shame. These are your personal judgments.

Rather silly of you to suggest incurring expenses on another’s behalf isn’t creating debt. But you manage your $$ and listing as you see fit.


Simple economics dear.

If, purely as an example, if I make 100 pounds profit after costs a week and the cost of me having a young homeless person in my home is £10 for a night. I still make £90 profit.

That £10 it would cost me in terms of missed income, would say cover the cost of a pizza or to buys me a half decent bottle of wine. Would I forgo a pizza or bottle of wine once in a while to help someone with nothing. Absolutely.

There is no debt.

Anyway it’s up to hosts as to whether they want to take part in the programne you don’t others do.


Sure dear. Run your listing as you see fit.

Because they have nowhere else to go.

I was still living in Austin when Harvey completely devastated the greater Houston area. No one ever expected it to keep coming back and dumping rain like it did so pre-evacuations had been pretty minimal. The weather service had to create, not one but two, new colors for the flood intensity graphs/charts because it was unprecedented. It’s a big city and they all had to go somewhere.

We didn’t have an airbnb yet but facebook groups formed and people came up from the Houston area and made contact with people offering space in their homes from these facebook pages, and my whole neighborhood was full of strangers that had nowhere else to go, for weeks. Some of our neighbors had actual STRs that they filled (from Airbnb and otherwise) but most people just opened up their couches and guest rooms and yards were full of tents and campers. It was done like this for Katrina too. In fact, I remember this being done my whole life when I was growing up in Austin for hurricanes that hit the gulf. I can’t really imagine it not going down like this, it is just what has to happen.

I think Airbnb has probably helped organize these kinds of things in a beneficial way, so am glad for that.


If the city I lived in was shutting down my listings and I was dependent on the income I probably wouldn’t house anyone for free either. I’m very lucky that I can afford to help people without jeopardizing


Im also very lucky that I’m not dependent on Airbnb’s income, otherwise the opinions of others might actually influence me. Laws can change quickly my dear, be careful what you tease others about.

And they won’t be coming to my place either. Its thats simple.

I’m not teasing. In your case, simply stating facts.

I doubt it. Perhaps you’ll one day be so lucky to be as old as I am. Sadly for anyone under 40, the future is not looking bright, especially not on the east coast. That also is plain fact, not a taunt or a brag.

I don’t know why you are even bothering to reply, you’re just contradicting yourself.

The law will almost certainly not change my business since I 1) host in my home 2) host in a state that has already passed a law to protect property owners doing Airbnb from cities and 3) I’ll be dead before laws change here.


Facts huh? So you were at the Court hearing two days ago when the Judge declared the City’s law invalid as being unconstitutional? No - didn’t think you were. But I was there. Keep opining on things you know nothing about.

You’re confused as to why I responded to you responding to me. I’m sure in your confusion you’ll attempt to block me again like last month.

Speaking of contradicting one self - what happened to your petty threat of blocking me until Oct 1 ? Tsk tsk, empty threats are no good.

I’ve got to say, that while I don’t always agree with the “old women” on here, as an “old man” I still find it in myself to be polite and courteous.

You’ve just scored a 12.5 (out of 10) on the dickometer.



I’m actually at 9, but thanks for the increase :wink:

Silly comment. But that’s interesting. I can’t find anything about it online though so I guess I’ll remain in the dark. I am not interested in if you host or not. All I know is that you posted here awhile ago crying about the new laws and the court cases.

There are those who think this forum should be a free wheeling express - o - rama of opinions. They think posters shouldn’t be blocked. And in discussing with Tom he prefers that folks like you be given warnings first rather than just having threads locked. We would also like to encourage other members to flag posts they think violate the TOS rather than having mods make the decisions unilaterally. So I unblocked everyone I could think of so you could start gracing us with your pithy commentary once more.

You didn’t disappoint.

Thanks for sharing that message with everyone because it makes clear that while I might make a decision unilaterally I’m also always tagging and informing Tom so he knows whats going on.



Should add, and very boring with my opinions.

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