NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Airbnb is teaming up with the City of New Orleans to house medical workers and other essential personnel so they can self-isolate from their families during the pandemic.
So far, they have received an overwhelming response to the program in just the first few days.
It’s a problem facing medical workers across the globe.
They worry about working around COVID-19 patients all day and then possibly exposing their families to the virus once they get home.
Now, Airbnb is paying for people to stay in properties that are currently empty with most of the city shut down.
“We have over 1200 stays available throughout the state of Louisiana and hundreds in the New Orleans area,” says Laura Spanjian with Airbnb. “But it’s actually janitorial workers in the hospital, it’s the paramedics, it’s firefighters, police officers, anyone associated with the hospital. Even delivery people.”
The program launched just four days ago.
“Literally when we launched Thursday night we housed people that night. In the last 48 hours we’ve housed over 40 people. The response has been amazing,” says Spanjian.
Spanjian says the move not only takes some of the pressure off medical workers’ backs, but helps put money in the pockets of homeowners who currently own Airbnb rentals.
“People just overwhelmingly so happy to stay because a lot of these people are worried about where they’re staying the next day and the next day because they have been there for weeks,” says Spanjian. “We’re not limiting it to five days. They can stay weeks in these listings and we will pay for it if that’s what they need.”
Spanjian says getting a rental is east. Just contact the City, LCMC Health System or the EMS Foundation or you can go to the Airbnb website directly to book a stay.
Airbnb is running similar programs for essential workers across the country.