Airbnb, a vacation rental hosting site, has asked hosts to provide free temporary housing to disaster relief workers and residents affected by the Kilauea eruption.
The Disaster Response program, which is slated to run through May 31, is based on similar efforts that Airbnb deployed in 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Program housing can be found at 808ne.ws/airbnbdisasterhousing.
Kellie Bentz, Airbnb’s head of Global Disaster Response and Relief, said Airbnb is encouraging hosts in unaffected areas of Hawaii County “to aid in this effort by listing their available rooms or homes on the platform to help those who have been impacted and to relief workers offering their assistance on the ground.”
As of this afternoon, 16 Airbnb hosts had signed up to offer free accommodations to about 30 relief workers.
“Our thoughts continue to be with everyone impacted, and we thank the dedicated government and emergency response personnel who are keeping our communities safe,” Bentz said.
Airbnb’s disaster response team also is assisting Kauai County enforce its ban on transient vacation units by blocking calendars for all 43 of its listings in the flood-ravaged Wainiha-Haena area. Airbnb said it could not take similar steps to block Hawaii island bookings because the county still needed to delineate boundaries
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>> Photos: Satellite before-and-after images show Kilauea’s devastation
>> Photos: Ash plume rises from Halemaumau, May 15