Airbnb announced the Superhost Relief Fund on 30th March 2020. This is to provide tenured hosts who are facing financial challenges because of travel disruption and other impacts of the global pandemic.

On 19th May 2020, they announced that the USD 7.4 million in grants to over 4000 hosts around the world has been awarded. Moreover, Airbnb continues to send out invitations and will review applicants in order to distribute the remaining USD 9.6 million in the fund.

With an initiative from the Airbnb employees which started in March by raising USD 01 million in donations out of their own pockets to the fund and from the founders Joe, Nate, Brian and Airbnb investors, a total of USD 17 million was raised. The intention for the fund is to provide direct assistance to hosts in these difficult times. The fund was designed in a way to support the superhosts who rent out their own home and need help paying their rent or mortgage, and long-tenured experience hosts trying to male ends meet.

With over 15,000 invitations sent and thousand of applications reviewed, they have received heart touching messages from their community.

Since 2014, Airbnb has provided an invaluable supplemental income. As a social worker working with HIV/AIDS programs in Uganda, my salary is not sufficient to cover my day-to-day bills and educate my son. More recently, my son’s father was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away in September 2019. Airbnb earnings helped pay for his medical treatment and now contribute to caring for his mother. Meeting new people and making lifelong friends through Airbnb has been a ray of sunshine. Receiving this grant is the silver lining in these very challenging times.”

Jacqueline, Superhost on Airbnb, Uganda

Everything in Durango that is the reason people go there has been shut down or cancelled: the train, Trimble hot springs, river excursions, ski area, conventions, graduations. We are generally at full capacity during these times. Prior to Airbnb, my elderly mother, who helps me host, said she felt invisible and lonely. We miss meeting people and sharing stories. We also had to let go of employees who are like family. I deferred the mortgage but if this goes on too long I’m at risk of losing the house.”

Kate, Superhost on Airbnb, USA

With more invitations sent through the month of May and targeting to award the grants by the end of June or until the fund resources are exhausted, Airbnb hopes the funds support thousands of Superhosts. Applicants and hosts are selected, categorized and prioritized in adherence to factors such as how long they have been a Superhost and how severely their Airbnb earnings have been impacted. And for the relief of the hosts, grants provided in the range of USD 1000 to USD 5000 would not need to be paid back.

Feature image by Airbnb