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Airbnb teams up with NYC to offer Sandy victims free digs

November 07, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A screen grab from Airbnb's Donated Housing Directory which connects people with space to spare with those displaced by Sandy.
A screen grab from Airbnb's Donated Housing Directory which connects… (Airbnb.com )

"Privacy and Good Peeps in NYC!" 

"Free Sandy Housing -Airbeds!!!"

"Port in the Storm* Sandy Refugees"

These are just a few of the listings for free apartments, rooms, and airbeds on Airbnb, an online vacation rental service, that are available to those who have been displaced by Sandy.

Last week Airbnb encouraged people who have listings on the site to consider lowering their fees for Sandy refugees.

On Wednesday, the company went further, announcing it had partnered with the city of New York to create a Donated Sandy Housing Directory where people with room to spare can offer it to Sandy refugees for free. Neither the host nor the guest are charged a fee, but Airbnb will still offer insurance for up to $1 million for hosts as well as customer service.

Guests who use the directory will still be asked to enter their credit card information, but that is just so the company can verify that the guest is indeed the person they claim to be.

So far, nearly 250 New Yorkers have offered their homes on the new platform. We wonder if that number will grow as the city deals with the fallout of another storm that lashed the already beleagured city and surrounding areas Wednesday.

According to Airbnb, more than 100,000 people are still stranded by Sandy. The company said it had already seen close to 2,500 last-minute bookings in areas affected by the storm -- hundreds of whom were displaced by Sandy. 

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