We announced the $17 million Superhost Relief Fund on March 30th. Our goal with this fund is to help some of the hosts most affected by the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry.
We have already awarded $7.4 million in grants and are working to get more grants out as swiftly as possible. We are still inviting more hosts to apply, reviewing applications, and awarding grants. Here are more details on our progress.
Who can apply
We’ve shared eligibility criteria that determine who qualifies for an invitation. We are limiting eligibility to hosts who have lost a significant percentage of their earnings due to COVID-19.
To make this assessment, we compare a host’s earnings from last year to their earnings this year. We look at the percentage of earnings loss, not the total value of losses. This helps ensure we invite hosts who earn at different rates.
How we send invitations
Among the hosts who qualify, we use additional criteria to prioritize invitations. We’re prioritizing hosts who have had Superhost status for a long time. People who have had Superhost status for 4 and 5 years are the first ones getting invited to apply. So far, the average tenure of hosts who have received grants is 4.5 years of hosting on Airbnb.
Who we’ve reached so far
We send a batch of invitations to apply every week. Each batch reaches about 5,000 people. Every host who applies gets a response within 2 weeks. We’ve already invited about 15,000 hosts to apply for a grant, and 68% of those hosts are outside the United States.
How much we’ve awarded
So far, nearly half the hosts who got invitations have applied; and the majority of hosts who applied received a grant. The grants range from $1,000 to $5,000. We’ve already awarded over $7.4 million in grants.
We estimate we’ll invite about 20,000 hosts to apply for grants from the fund—that means not all Superhost will receive an invitation. The exact number will depend on how many hosts apply and receive grants. We’ll keep going until we grant the entire $17 million. We plan to send out all invitations by the end of May.
We want to thank all the hosts who have used their applications to share their stories with us. We know it’s a difficult time throughout the global community, and we’ll continue to look for ways to provide support. Looking ahead, we’ll be focusing on helping you get back to hosting. That means offering new ways for you to understand booking trends and prepare for guests as travel returns.
So if Airbnb has "already invited about 15,000 hosts to apply" and "Each batch reaches about 5,000 people" and further that "We estimate we’ll invite about 20,000 hosts to apply" that means that there's only one more batch of invites to go out.
I am desperate to have my case assessed - without a 10-99 ( which althought i meet the income requirements I narrowily miss the 200 bookings with only 158) or an invite to apply to the Superhost relief fund I cannot get any govt assistance and will literally not have any money for food let alone rent. Its my sole income source _ I meet all the eligibility requirements but when I call desperate to receive an invitation to apply for the fund - I get nowhere. Anyone able to help?
@Piya22 It doesn't matter how desperate you are or how many times you call, the reality is that it is by invite only, so you are totally wasting your time calling. No one can help you with this. I suggest you accept the fact that you probaby won't get anything, like most of us, and if you do, it will be a pleasant surprise.
@Airbnb Why did you change your original statement- that the grants would be assessed based on need? Why didn't you state from the outset how you were going to decide who got grants- that it was based on the difference between last year's earnings and this year's? Did you purposely misrepresent this, or do you simply have no one on staff who is capable of issuing a clear statement? Or did it take you this long to realize that the difference in earnings from last year to this are not an accurate method of determining need? That's something you should have realized before issuing the original statement.
Any of those three reasons for not being upfront from the outset are unacceptable. You got a lot of hosts' hopes up for nothing. If we weren't depressed enough about our financial situation to start with, you succeeded in making things worse for us.
@Sarah977 Here's how I'm understanding it to work.
Step 1: Airbnb runs an algorithm based on percentage income drop between two sets of dates - possibly 2020 vs 2019, Jan - April. (I am totally guessing here). Percentage income drop : Earnings of $100,000 go to zero. 100% revenue drop. Earnings of $1000 go to zero. 100% revenue drop. So the amount of revenue makes no difference. Large host/small host, no difference. Only the percentage loss previous period vs current period makes a difference.
Step 2: The list is probably pretty long, so it is reduced by adding a tenure filter, to get to about 20,000 names.
Step 3: An email is sent in the 5,000 batches to the potential recipients.
Step 4: The recipients then either respond, or don't respond. The invitations of non-responders go back into the pool.
Step 5: The responders could fall into two categories. Those needing the grant, and those that don't. This is where "need" kicks in. The invitee has to send back some words on why they need (or possibly don't need) the money. One is, of course, relying on the invitee to be completely honest. Someone not really needing the money could, of course, still represent that they really do need it. And from the couple of folks who posted that they got the grant, it's not an exhaustive representation, with proof.
Step 6: Airbnb reviews the submission from the invitee, then makes a determination how much they are going to receive. It seems unlikely to me that they would review the submission and turn that person away completely, (that would be cruel and unusual punishment), but might reduce the amount granted.
I feel like it's accurate to say the grants are based on need, some amount between $1000 and $5000, but that determination couldn't possibly be done till way later in the process, and not up front. There's no way Airbnb could really assess need up front. Only lost revenue.
It's the size of the grant that is need-based, and not the invitation to apply. It is word-smithing in the blurb about the program, though.
@Michelle53 I haven't seen the questions they ask to an invitee, but a host on another forum who did receive one said the questions were "vague".
Had Airbnb issued an explanation, like the scenario you wrote above, from the start, also including the % of lost earnings they were going to base sending out invites on, instead of saying the grants would be given based on need, it would have saved a lot of hosts from waiting on pins and needles and then being disillusioned and distraught to realize they'll never get an invite at all.
And they also first said the criteria was Superhost for at least a year, then changed it to 4 years.
I'm not particularly upset by how they administered the funds, that's their decision, I'm upset by misleading and non-transparent communication, which there is no excuse for.
Yea that part is odd. 1 year to 4 years? Probably to further lower the pool of invitees. That rules me out since I'm at 3 years.
They sent me an invite and some of the questions were if Airbnb is your main source of income, do you live in the same building as your Airbnb unit, do you have another job in addition to Airbnb hosting, and what would you use the grant money for if you received it (I can't remember the rest of the questions now). I doubt they will approve my application because I have a full time job as an office manager.
I meet all criteria been Superhost since it first came out find no email. How do I know my email did not get misplaced or did not arrive. I should be in the first batch considering what is above.
WOW ! I didn't realise that the world media linked to these Community Forums.
An article on Skift links straight to this post, I just saw.
@Airbnb Why did you change your original statement- that the grants would be assessed based on need? Why didn't you state from the outset how you were going to decide who got grants- that it was based on the difference between last year's earnings and this year's? Did you purposely misrepresent this,
The analysis of this qualifier :
“We look at the percentage of earnings loss, not the total value of losses. This helps ensure we invite hosts who earn at different rates.”
Does not fare well for regular and reliable SuperHosts.
The hosts who benefit from this are those hosts who have:
- Increased fees with the same amount of bookings.
- Increased bookings with the same fees.
- Increased fees any other way.
All cases result in higher yield for AirBnb, but is no measure of a Hosts ‘need’.
Like the Hosts penalised for setting their cancellation policies to Flexible on Airbnb’s advice and then them being omitted from the 25% payment scheme, Here, Hosts responding to ‘reducing prices’ will find themselves on the wrong side of that ‘% of earnings loss‘