Airbnb Offers Free Housing For People Affected By Trump’s Travel Restriction

Jan 30, 2017 09:59 AM EST | Andrew Davis

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Airbnb is offering free housing for those affected by President Donald Trump's executive order. The home-sharing service's CEO and co-founder announced the offer a day after the executive order was signed.

Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brain Chesky tweeted on Saturday evening: "Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected." He is among a number of CEOs and billionaires who lashed out about the sudden travel restrictions from the newly elected US president.

US President Donald Trump, on Friday, signed an executive order that barred visitors, travelers, Green Card holders, student, and immigrants from 7, largely Muslim, countries from entering the United States. These affected those from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen.

The signed executive order was received with much protest and was in fact countered with legal actions, allowing some of those detained in airports to be released.  Around 100 to 200 people have been detained in airports all over the country since the executive order was issued.

Although technology companies immediately came to aid those who were affected, most especially whose employees who were part of the ban, Airbnb seems to be the very first to provide its services directly to the public inflicted by this sudden restrictions.

According to TechCrunch, an Airbnb spokesperson said in an interview that the house-sharing company will utilize its existing disaster response program, which amounted to an impressive 3,000 nights of free housing. This specific program asks hosts to offer housing for people who were displaced by natural disasters and also to aid workers. In fact, the company has matched the $1 million worth of donation to the UN Refugee Agency.

Meanwhile, for areas where there are no hosts offering free housing, Airbnb will instead subsidize the housing cost, whereas the company will waive the booking fees to those hosts offering their own homes for refugees and victims of natural disasters.

Other giant tech companies who came to their employees' rescue include Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook, among others. Sergey Brin, Google's founder, joined protesters at San Francisco International Airport and said that he is there because he too is a refugee. Forbes reported that Sergey Brin came to the United States at the age of 6 after fleeing from Russia. Now, he is the richest foreign-born billionaire in the United States. Netflix and Uber also released statements expressing their concerns regarding President Trump's decision.

For now, Airbnb noted that they will provide further details about their free housing program in the following days for those affected by the executive order. How a curb in travel will affect business in the United States is yet to be determined. 

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