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Airbnb extends disaster response for Hurricanes Irma, Maria

Airbnb, the nation’s largest vacation rental home marketing business, announced Friday it is extending its Disaster Response Program two more weeks in Florida to help with displaced evacuees and relief workers from Hurricane Irma and evacuees from Hurricane Maria.

The company and a few of its host properties have agreed to offer rent-free stays for the evacuees or relief workers, dating to the Sept. 10-11 Hurricane Irma that ravaged almost all of Florida, followed by Hurricane Maria which devastated the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The program was to expire Friday but will continue through Oct. 12, Airbnb announced.

Airbnb made the decision in consultation with Florida disaster management officials, who determined the extension was helpful in facilitating continued housing for those who cannot yet return to their homes due to the impact of Hurricane Irma. The program is also available to emergency relief officials as well as Puerto Rico natives who have evacuated to Florida following Hurricane Maria.

To this point, more than 230 hosts have opted into the program to list their homes for free to those in need in response to Hurricane Irma, Airbnb reported.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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