The Victorian government and Airbnb have announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the provision of accommodation for people displaced in emergencies and natural disasters.
Under the MOU, Emergency Management Victoria will partner with Airbnb to prepare Airbnb hosts in Victoria to provide free accommodation in the event of a significant emergency.
“Victoria is leading the way and using technology to benefit everyone. Today, the sharing economy is giving more people the freedom to start their own businesses and pursue their dreams and it’s helping make communities more vibrant and resilient,” said Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Emergency Management Victoria.”
Specifically, Airbnb and EMV will work together to:
- Identify Airbnb hosts who will commit to opening their doors to displaced persons and emergency services workers and volunteers when an emergency occurs and accommodation options are required or limited.
- Provide emergency preparedness educational materials and facilitate access to community education programs for Airbnb hosts to ensure that they are well prepared within their communities.
- Use Airbnb technology to notify hosts and guests about significant emergencies and that the Airbnb Disaster Response Service is available.
“We welcome any avenue which helps strengthen existing arrangements for people who are forced to flee their homes during major and significant emergencies including fire and flood,” said Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley.
“Arrangements with Airbnb will be in place during this summer season and we welcome this initiative which provides another way for generous Victorians to connect with one another in times of need.
“Today’s announcement builds upon Airbnb’s disaster relief work in other cities, and will help the community collaborate with regional disaster relief organisations in advance of an event, as well as reach a broader audience and help more people during an emergency. We also are collaborating with the Victorian government to the support the Victorian entrepreneurial community, so that more residents of Victoria can benefit from the sharing economy.”