Airbnb hosts offer free housing for Hurricane Michael evacuees

Posted at 11:05 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 23:36:23-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Airbnb hosts are opening up their homes to Hurricane Michael evacuees and emergency workers free of charge. 

Airbnb activated its Open Homes Program Tuesday to aid residents of the Panhandle and Northern Florida forced to evacuate. 

Communities in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia are eligible to take part in the program. 

ABC Action News spotted several $0 listings in Tampa, Polk County, and Central Florida through Orlando. The free, temporary housing is available until Oct. 29. 

"I just think that as human beings we should do what we can to help each other," said Sally Campbell, of Polk City. 

Campbell's vacation rental earns nearly $100 per night on the site, but she is willing to take a financial hit during Hurricane Michael. 

She knows the stress of evacuating all too well after Hurricane Irma, especially for pet owners. 

"We had a 90-pound German Shepherd and it's a real problem," said Campbell. "Not everybody wants you and your dog and so I'm more than willing to have people bring their pets because it's important."

"The idea for Airbnb’s disaster relief program began in 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and has since grown into a global disaster response initiative that makes it easy for Airbnb hosts to provide space for people in need when disasters strike," Airbnb stated in a press release Tuesday. "To date, the disaster response and relief team has responded to over 250 disasters worldwide, including most recently Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Gordon."