January 16, 2019
Home-sharing platform Airbnb is launching a new initative, "A Night On Us," in light of the ongoing U.S. government shutdown.
As the shutdown marks its 26th day on Wednesday, further cementing it as the longest closure in U.S. history, Airbnb is the latest company to pitch in as federal employees across the country go on four weeks without a paycheck.
"This past Friday, hundreds of thousands of federal workers went without a paycheck, even as they continue to face daily expenses and other financial obligations," Airbnb wrote in a blog post Wednesday.
"Americans with all perspectives have expressed sympathy for those who have been impacted, and like others, we are called to action to help the many members of our host community who are included in that group."
The "A Night On Us" initiative applies to federal executive branch employees here and nationwide who opt to host their homes or experiences on Airbnb. Hosts who share their homes for up to three nights will be paid for an extra fourth night, earning as much as an extra $110 from the company.
"As the typical U.S. host makes approximately $8,700 a year from sharing their home, we hope this boost will serve to supplement the income government employees already earn from their home sharing," Airbnb wrote, "helping to address fast emerging financial challenges for the foreseeable future."
Individuals without an Airbnb home listing also can earn extra money by hosting an experience through Airbnb. The site, in addition to finding home rentals for travelers, also lists various travel activities to be booked through local hosts, such as city tours, guided hikes, or cooking classes.
In Philly, for example, you can book an LGBTQ History tour or a dumpling making class through Airbnb. Federal employees who host Airbnb experiences also can earn up to $110 extra per booking, during the shutdown.
Interested Airbnb hosts must fill out an application to qualify. Applications will be accepted now through March 18, 2019, and apply for hosting transactions retroactive to Dec. 18, 2018.
Check out more "A Night On Us" details here.