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Airbnb to Offer Free Housing to Refugees, Blocked Travelers

Jan 29, 2017

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has announced that the company will work to provide free housing for those affected by travel restrictions resulting from a Trump administration executive order issued Friday.

Presumably, the Airbnb initiative would be aimed at helping travelers unexpectedly stuck outside of the U.S. On Saturday, travelers from restricted countries were detained in U.S. airports or blocked from boarding U.S.-bound planes. That included U.S. green card holders and other legal residents.

Airbnb now operates globally, with less than 20% of its listings located in the U.S.

Though a federal judge has blocked certain aspects of the Trump travel ban, its potential impacts in both the short and long term remain murky.

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Chesky had earlier criticized the travel ban on ethical grounds.

Other tech leaders and companies have spoken out against the Trump administration order, including representatives of Facebook, Apple, and Uber.

Lyft has pledged a $1 million donation to the ACLU, which has fought the travel ban, and Uber has committed funds to aid impacted drivers. But Airbnb's pledge could become the broadest move by a tech company to provide direct aid to those affected.

The company’s customer support team promised further details to come.

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