It’s probably a safe bet to say that Airbnb has housed more flood victims and recovery workers than FEMA. The room-sharing service allowed its users to offer free rooms to those affected by the recent flooding in Louisiana.
The service was a success.
When torrential rain left thousands of Louisianans homeless last month, hundreds of volunteers flooded into the state to help pick up the pieces.
And when those volunteers needed a place to stay—along with some flood victims who were unable to return to their homes in the wake of the disaster—it was Airbnb that helped to answer the call. The room-sharing service waived all service fees for rooms in Louisiana and allowed individual property owners to rent rooms for free in the weeks after the flooding—essentially turning Airbnb into an online marketplace for free bedding when a warm place to sleep was most important.
“We have an ability to help people, at least in the short term, to get a comfortable bed, a home-cooked meal ― which is a very different experience from what they’d get in a shelter,” Airbnb spokesman Nick Shapiro told The Huffington Post.