Many of you have expressed an interest in hosting healthcare staff, and first responders on the front lines. So we wanted to let you know about a new program we launched to help you do just that. Airbnb is partnering with our hosts to connect 100,000 COVID-19 healthcare staff and first responders with comfortable and convenient places to stay.
We know you might be wondering how the Frontline Stays program works, whether or not your space is eligible, and how to apply. We’ve answered these questions and more at Airbnb.com/COVID. If you’re interested in applying for the program, you can do so using the online form at Airbnb.com/COVID19relief.
As always, we appreciate the resilience and generosity of hosts in the Airbnb community. We know this is a challenging time for so many of you, and your desire to help others is such an inspiration. Thank you again for all you do!
Updated April 10, 2020
We’re so inspired by your enthusiasm for the new Frontline Stays program! We know you still have questions about how it works, so we wanted to take a moment to answer some of them here.
What kinds of guests can I expect to host as part of the Frontline Stays program?
Tens of thousands of COVID-19 responders around the world are looking for temporary housing right now. Many are nurses and doctors traveling to impacted areas to support local hospital staff, medical staff burdened by long commutes and back-to-back shifts, and relief workers who are exposed to patients every day and are concerned for the health of their families—especially those with elderly parents or infants at home.
I’ve blocked off my calendar but want to help. How long should I leave my calendar open to participate in the program?
We recommend opening up your calendar through July 31, 2020. Keep in mind that there’s only one calendar associated with your listing. Dates you make available can potentially be reserved by any guest, whether or not they’re a COVID-19 responder. If you only want to host COVID-19 responders at this time, you’ll need to turn off Instant Book so you have more control over who can reserve your space. The normal penalties associated with declining bookings don’t apply to requests from responders, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Who can book through this program?
Healthcare staff and first responders must be either affiliated with partner organizations or reviewed by Airbnb prior to check-in. This process helps ensure responders have a COVID-19 work assignment and are familiar with safety protocols. If Airbnb is unable to confirm a guest's COVID-related work prior to check-in, the reservation will be canceled.
How will I know if a guest is a COVID-19 responder?
These guests will have a special COVID-19 designation on their booking requests and confirmations. So whether you have Instant Book turned on or not, you’ll be able to identify COVID-19 responders right away.
How should I price my space?
Many COVID-19 responders who are signing up through our program are in need of free or deeply discounted listings because they’re paying out of pocket for their stays. If you can offer COVID-19 responders a space for free, please consider doing so.
If you’re not currently hosting on Airbnb but want to provide free stays for COVID-19 responders, sign up for the program here.
If you’re already a host on Airbnb, sign up to host COVID-19 responders here—you’ll be able to set the price at your full rate, at a discount, or for free.
How do I set a discounted rate for COVID-19 responders?
If you’re a host with an active listing on Airbnb, you can set a discount for COVID-19 responders when you sign up to host healthcare staff and first responders. If you don’t have a listing yet but you’d like to help, create a new Airbnb listing first and then sign up to set a discounted rate for responders.
Once you set a discount, we’ll automatically apply it to reservations made by COVID-19 responders only, and you’ll get the price breakdown when you receive the booking request or Instant Book reservation. Please keep in mind that your calendar won’t reflect the discounted price for COVID-19 responders.
I’m trying to opt in with a discounted rate, and it’s not letting me. Why is that?
Thanks for your feedback on this issue. There was a technical issue with the opt-in experience for some regions, but that should be fixed now. If you’re still having trouble with this, please let us know in the comments.
We want to remind you that we’ve answered even more questions in our Resource Center article, so please check that out for additional information about the program.
@Debra300 I feel like a legit COVID responder, if they wanted to rent my house, and wanted or needed a discount, would just ask, or state whatever their reimbursement issues are and we could then go from there.
I am hesitant to simply lower the price because I don't want to deal with a bunch of locals or scammers posing as relief workers. My belief is, that at least in my city, there aren't any or many outside health care workers who have come here to work w/the hospitals, and that is the reason why no inquiries. I also have doubts about how well organized this program is on airbnb's side. But thanks for the suggestion.
@Mark116 I understand your hesitancy re how well this is organized on Aiirbnb's end and being wary of scammers and locals lying to you. It's a valid concern. But as far as pricing is concerned, I think human nature dictates that people are going to look at the places that are offering discounts to first responders, before they'll message a host who is asking full price to ask if you could discount. Even if their company or the govt is paying, they aren't going to be given carte blanche to book a place at any price, I wouldn't think. But you may, of course, be right, maybe there just isn't a big call for that sort of housing in your area.
You are repeating statements that I made earlier in this discussion. I checked out your space, and it's very nice. Not everyone is in a position to provide a level of financial support to Front-line workers that gives them a free/almost free space to stay. Especially, when the climate is heading into the summer when air conditioning usage will be prevalent in many parts of the world. IMO, you are already offering a fantastic price.
For Front-line reservations, I would suggest the following:
- The minimum length of stay for each reservation should be 14 days. This will discourage casual travelers.
- The maximum length of stay for each reservation should be 30 days.
- Do not accept a reservation that has a duration that will change the status of your guest to a tenant (check your local rental regulations). If a guest wants to stay longer than 30 days, work with Airbnb to set up a fast follow reservation that won't require the three post checkout waiting period between reservations.
- Specifically state in your house rules/rental agreement that the guest will not become a tenant. Do not allow the to use your address to receive US Postal mail, register their care or start a recurring service at your space (e.g., water delivery, wine club, Omaha Steaks, etc.). The guest can rent a post box at the local Fedex/UPS Store, or the US Post Office for their mail delivery (and many of their packages).
- Reduce the nightly rate, and increase the base cleaning fee. This will protect you from incurring costs for cleaning that will not be recouped through the lost nights' stay. If a guest needs to checkout sooner than planned, your cleaning efforts and costs will be the same as if they stayed.
- Lock the doors of rooms that you don't want the guest to access. If you are hosting a single guest, there is no reason to leave more than one bedroom, one bathroom open.
- You must assume that your guest is a carrier of the coronavirus, and interact with them that maintains your safety.
- Notify your cleaner that a Front-line worker is staying in your space. Hopefully, the cleaner is already taking necessary precautions.
- Notify your neighbors that you're hosting a Front-line worker to make aware those who are more vulnerable to having a critical reaction to the virus.
- Notify your garbage pick up company that a Front-line worker is staying in your space to make them aware in case there are special disposal processes they need to follow.
- Notify any service/repair persons that may need to enter your space during the guest's stay that a Front-line worker is the occupant.
- For those of you who plan to offer free/very low cost lodging, but want to encourage energy and resource conservation to limit your utility costs, require that the guest pay a deposit via Airbnb's payment request system. Inform the guest that the deposit will be fully refunded if they consume less than whatever set amount of water, electricity, gas, etc. Otherwise, the deposit will be refund less any costs above the threshold.
- Require a refundable damages deposit payable via Airbnb's payment request system If you are concerned about the wear and tear on the furnishings, appliances and fixtures. Inform the guest that the deposit will be refunded if they cause extraordinary wear or incur damages during their. Otherwise, the deposit will be refund less any costs for damages.
- Set strict guidelines regarding a guest's visitors to the space. The guest is staying in your place because of work, and should be in self-isolation/shelter in place when at your property. It is not the time to have family or friends take a little getaway at your expense.
- If your property has outdoor space that you may share with the guest. Set rules about what area/furniture/amenities the guest can use. For example, it may not be cool for them to lay on your lounge chair or use your hot tub.
I am sure there are other items that should be added to the list, but these are the things I will do after the State of Georgia's restriction on short-term rentals ends.
@Debra300 Good list and one thing that comes to mind that I'd add to it, is to remove all extraneous items from the listing. First responders need a place to sleep and recoup, shower and prepare a meal. They don't need a bunch of decorative throw pillows, a closet full of extra bedding and towels, a bunch of throw rugs, purely decorative items, or place settings for 6 if there is only one person staying. The less stuff you leave in the unit, the less there will be to sterilize.
Thanks, I knew there'd be something more to list. I thought the same thing about removing extraneous stuff to reduce wear and cleaning. I probably would have listed it if I hadn't forgotten to take my memory tablet.
I will provide one roll of toilet paper and paper towels, one bag liner in the kitchen and bathroom trash bins, one set of bed linens and two set of towels, and a set of bath floor mats at check-in. I will also leave a broom and dustpan, a mop and bucket, and swiffer duster (I am undecided about leaving a vacuum). The guest will be responsible to obtain more paper items and trash bags as needed, as well as get their own cooking ingredients, cleaning and laundry supplies, and personal hygiene items.
I will state in my house rules that the guest is expected to keep the place tidy, regularly clean the kitchen and properly store or dispose of food and drinks to deter bugs, clean the bathroom regularly to avoid mold and mildew, toilet bowl rings, sink and bathtub staining.
My rules for Front-line stays may be a bit strict, because I want only those who are sincere about their reason for obtaining a Front-line stay, and are appreciate of the support they are being given.
Brian Chesky stated in an interview this week that over 200000 hosts have now signed up for the Frontline stays programme, so presumably, the waived fees for the first 100000 stays has now been surpassed...
I decided to shut this feature off when I got a booking from a verified nurse, who wasn't looking for a place to stay so she could be closer to the front lines, but because she wanted to take a vacation. She basically took advantage of the fact she was a nurse to get better pricing for a vacation.
I certainly understand that you want to give our frontline workers a nice place to stay for free/discount rate. On a daily basis, the frontline workers are experiencing very traumatic events which are almost warlike, and many are experiencing PTSD. Maybe the nurse was looking for a break to rest and recuperate to maintain her sanity, and for a brief period have a sense of a normal life before going back into the trenches. In the past couple of days, I've been seeing on the news stories of suicide and diminishing mental health among the frontline workers.
Sorry @Debra300, looking for a break to rest and recuperate is not why I signed up for the Covid plan. Maybe I didn't read the rules properly, but I thought people using it would be first responders / medical personnel from outside my area coming to the aid of those inside my area. Or from first responders / medical people inside my area who felt the need to sacrifice their home life to protect their own families.
Not for a nurse to take a vacation with her boyfriend on my dime.
I did go through with the rental. For all my efforts, she left the sink full of dishes & dirty pots and pans on the stove.
I am considered an essential employee, and have been working through this entire stay at home order. I am not a first responder, and I am not in the medical field, but I worry every day if today is the day I'm going to touch the wrong surface, or talk to an asymptomatic carrier, or touch my face without thinking about it. My only protection is the mask my sister made me, and the hand sanitizer I carry in my car. And yet, I wouldn't even think to take advantage of another host either financially or expect them to clean up after my mess.
@Mikki0 Wow, sounds like the person another host got and posted about here, but they're on the other side of the country. Said she was a nurse, booked for 2 nights, unmentioned boyfriend, with a dog, showed up, left the place dirty, with greasy stovetop and a pile of unwashed dishes.