Airbnb is funneling money to Ukrainians in need.
Fortune Magazine is reporting hundreds of users of the popular real estate rental site looking to help out Ukrainians are “renting” rooms in some of the cities hardest hit by the Russian attack to get money to those who desperately need it.
And management at Airbnb has waived the fees it normally charges to buyers to ensure they get more money with each rental.
“We are so humbled by the inspiring generosity of our community during this moment of crisis,” a spokesperson said in a statement to the magazine. “Airbnb is temporarily waiving guest and host fees on bookings in Ukraine at this time.”
According to the report, after one person booked an Ainb apartment in Irbin, a city under attack just west of Kyiv, the host responded with thanks and an update on the war.
“Hope we will win and stop this horror,” they wrote. “Irpin town, where the apartment is located, is a hot point last 3 days. Our soldiers stopped three waves of Russian tanks moving to Kyiv in Irpin. And this is our glory.”
The owner of the apartment then promised to donate the money received to charity, noting that the apartment for rent would be used to house people who had lost their homes to the war.
Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky said on Thursday that his company would suspend its operations in Russia and Belarus to sanction the countries following the Russian invasion of Ukraine — which Belarus aided by allowing Russian troops to amass along its border with Ukraine.
Since the invasion began, more than a million people have fled Ukraine, and Airbnb has volunteered up to 100,000 homes to house refugees, according to the report, which noted that Airbnb has reached out to 14 governments to collaborate on the project.
According to company, more than 350,000 people have visited its site to either donate or become a host for refugees.
[Fortune Magazine] — Vince DiMiceli