Open Homes connects people with a free place to stay in times of need. The idea for Open Homes came from Airbnb hosts in 2012. After Hurricane Sandy hit New York, hosts decided to offer their homes for free to neighbours who were forced to evacuate. Inspired by their generosity, Open Homes became an official part of Airbnb.
Since then, it’s expanded to support evacuees, relief workers, medical patients, refugees and asylum seekers. We partner with trusted nonprofits like Mercy Corps, the International Rescue Committee, and the Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation to develop the programme and connect their clients with a free place to stay in times of need.
Open Homes stays are always free for the guests. Some hosts choose to host Open Homes stays for free by signing up with the Open Homes community. If you haven't signed up to host guests for free on Open Homes, you'll still receive your usual payment for your listing when you have an Open Homes booking. Airbnb waives all service fees for these reservations.
Open Homes hosts have many of the same expectations as regular Airbnb hosts. Hosts must meet Airbnb’s hospitality standards, which include accurately representing your listing and availability, as well as providing a safe, secure, and clean space for guests. All hosts and guests are required to uphold Airbnb’s community standards.
Almost anyone can sign up to be an Open Homes host. The listings available on the site are as diverse as the hosts who list them, and you can post shared spaces, private rooms, or entire homes. Find out more about home types to see how to describe your space.
Sometimes a staff member from one of our nonprofit partners will book on behalf of their client and may have additional requests based on their client’s needs. In these cases, the nonprofit staff member will communicate with the host ahead of time to make sure your space is a good fit.
Open Homes provides free places to stay for people in times of need. The program supports evacuees, relief workers, medical patients and their caregivers, refugees and asylum seekers.
In the aftermath of a disaster, there is a critical need for temporary housing. You can help your community rebuild by offering a place to stay to neighbors who have had to flee their homes, as well as relief workers deployed to help. In this instance, people affected by the disaster and relief workers have the ability to search for and book an Open Homes listing directly for themselves.
In order to book, guests must confirm that they’ve been impacted by the disaster or are a relief worker responding in an official capacity. They also agree to our Community Standards and the Airbnb Terms of Service.
Learn more about Disaster relief stays.
Every day, people travel far from home for medical treatment. They may be receiving care, supporting a patient, or healing with family during a difficult time. As a host, you can offer someone the comfort and space they need to recover. In this instance, guests can search for and book an Open Homes listing directly for themselves, or a nonprofit staff member may make the booking on their behalf.
Learn more about Medical stays.
There are many barriers for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in a new place. Before settling into permanent housing, refugees and asylum-seekers need to finalize paperwork, search for jobs, and find a temporary place to stay. You can support them by offering a comfortable space at a critical time. In this instance, guests can only be booked on Open Homes by a nonprofit staff member making the booking on their behalf. All guests have the legal status of a recognized refugee entitled to international protection as determined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and/or have begun the process of seeking asylum in the country where they currently reside.
Learn more about Refugee housing.
If you are eligible, you must have a verified account on Airbnb in order to book on Open Homes. To create your account, go to airbnb.com and click Sign Up. You’ll be asked to verify your birthday, email and phone number, as well as upload a government issued ID. You might also be prompted to upload a payment method - this is simply for account verification, you will not be charged for an Open Homes reservation.
Once the reservation is accepted by the host, you’ll receive a confirmation email as well as the listing address and host’s phone number. If questions arise before check in, use the Contact host link to keep in communication with the host.
Learn more about Airbnb’s guest standards.
Whether you signed up to host for free on Open Homes or have received an Open Homes booking request, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you prepare for your guests:
Hosting an Open Homes stay can be different across programs. Many guests referred by a nonprofit will have the support of a staff member throughout. You can learn more on our dedicated sites:
Learn more about Airbnb’s hosting standards.
A dedicated support team is available to all hosts, guests and nonprofit partners for issues and questions related to Open Homes reservations 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm Pacific Standard Time. Contact us by emailing email@example.com. Airbnb’s community support specialists are also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you encounter an emergency situation, or if your personal safety is threatened during a stay, contact local police or emergency services immediately.
If you need help from Airbnb with a safety concern, contact our Trust and Safety team.
Before the start of the stay, you can also read our safety tips.