Airbnb Offering Rentals for $0 to Those Affected by Hurricane Matthew

The rent-a-room company activated its "Disaster Response Program."

ByABC News
October 7, 2016, 11:00 AM

— -- As Hurricane Matthew hits the Florida coast this morning, bringing with it powerful winds strong enough to knock out power for thousands of residents and causing millions of others to evacuate, Airbnb is hoping to come to the aid of those affected by the storm.

The rent-a-room company activated its Disaster Response Program Thursday that allows willing participants to "open their doors to those in need or find emergency accommodations," according to the program's website.

Hurricane Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds at 2 a.m. ET today.

As of today, the program is activated in parts of Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. That means more than 3,000 homes are available to those in need for $0.

Any type of accommodation is offered currently on the website from a "comfy couch" in Orlando to an entire villa in Davenport, Florida.

Airbnb spokesman Nick Shapiro in a statement to ABC News added, "We encourage hosts in safe, inland areas to aid in this effort by listing their available rooms or homes on the platform to help the growing number of evacuees. This is the first major hurricane threat this area has seen in years, and we are hopeful that Airbnb can help play a small part in making the evacuation process easier for residents and their families. Our thoughts continue to be with everyone impacted by the storm, and we thank the dedicated government and emergency response personnel who are keeping our communities safe."

Airbnb's Disaster Response Program was created after Hurricane Sandy hit the New York area in 2012. More than 1,000 Airbnb hosts in New York opened their homes free of charge.

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