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Airbnb Offers Free Housing for Storm Victims

More than 300 listings are currently being offered by New York City residents to host Sandy victims free of charge.

Thanks to a new partnership with the city of New York, Airbnb is taking the next step to help residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy.  The peer-to-peer home sharing start-up now has a public database of free relief housing across the city's five boroughs.

The platform, which launched today, will allow both New Yorkers in need of housing to find spare rooms and renters to provide their extra living spaces free of charge. Airbnb confirmed will continue to provide customer service and insurance for hosts up to $ 1 million, according to a company blog post.

“We are proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg to provide an innovative solution to a devastating problem and we will continue to look at ways to do even more,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a news statement on the partnership.

As of Thursday afternoon, Airbnb’s donated housing directory displayed 300 offered listings across New York City.

Last week, the company announced that it would waive fees to more than 20,000 listings on its website between October 31 and November 7 in affected areas including New York, the Hamptons, Providence, New Haven and Atlantic City.

According to Airbnb, more than 2,500 last-minute bookings in areas affected by the storm have already taken place. The company will still require credit card information from guests displaced by the hurricane for verification purposes.

IMAGE: iStock
Last updated: Nov 8, 2012

MATTHEW WONG | Staff Writer

Matthew Wong is a digital journalist whose work has also appeared in Dow Jones VentureWire and The Wall Street Journal.

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