Airbnb asks its hosts to provide 100,000 free rentals to first responders

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Airbnb introduced a new program Thursday that its CEO called “free” housing for first responders dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. The program asks hosts — the people who actually own the properties that are booked via Airbnb’s platform — to donate the rental without reimbursement from the company, and apparently, to bear the cost of following CDC-recommended cleaning protocols. The goal is to offer lodging to 100,000 first responders, the company says.

As of 3:30PM ET, CEO Brian Chesky tweeted, 12,000 hosts had “opened up their homes” under the program.

First responders looking for a place to...