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How to offer fire victims temporary housing on Airbnb

Tens of thousands of people left homeless after more than 11,000 homes were destroyed

Fire victims in a truck outside a Walmart in Chico.
From left, Havyn Cargill-Morris, Dakota Keltner, Atryna Sweet and Timothy Keltner rest in the back seat of a truck at a makeshift encampment outside a Chico Walmart store for people displaced by the fire.
Photo by AP Photo/John Locher

Airbnb has launched a program called Open Homes to help find temporary housing for Camp Fire victims and relief workers. More than 11,000 homes were destroyed in only 11 days, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

Do you want to offer your home to someone in need? Here’s how: 1) Click here. 2) Create a verified Airbnb account, or for existing members simply log in. 2) Choose your existing listing or create a new listing specifically for Camp Fire victims. 3) Wait for agency partners or verified account holders in need of housing who fall under the guidelines to contact you.

Are you an evacuee or relief worker affected by the fire and in need of temporary housing? Check out the Open Homes program at airbnb.com/openhomes or call 415-510-4001 for one-on-one personal assistance.

For now the Open Homes program only allows for listings within a specified area on this map, which excludes homes listed in San Francisco, the Peninsula, Silicon Valley, the East Bay, et cetera.

However, there’s a workaround: An Airbnb spokesperson tells Curbed SF that people outside of said specified area can still list their homes for fire victims by updating listing headline to read “For Camp Fire victims in need” (or a variation thereof) and to adjust the dollar amount accordingly. (Airbnb doesn’t allow for $0 on regular listings, but account holders are expected not to charge any fire victim in need.)

Account holders offering their homes outside of the mapped area should look carefully at anyone seeking shelter for free to make sure they are, in fact, relief workers or evacuees.

The Open Homes program, which also benefits victims of the Woolsey Fire, runs from today until November 29, 2018. That date is expected to extend until at least December 14.