AirBnb Wants Clients to House 35,000 Refugees in Greece

FILE - AP Photo/Tim Ireland

ATHENS – AirBnb owners in Greece – about to be hit with huge taxes – are being asked by the parent company to provide housing for as many as 35,000 refugees and migrants stranded in the country with the suspension of a European Union swap deal with Turkey.

A representative for the company made the announcement at the Concordia Europe Summit and said it is developing a special platform, airbnb.com/welcome, where property owners can offer their house or apartment to refugees for as long as desired or needed.

It wasn’t explained whether the owners of units would be charging the asylum seekers, now housed in detention centers and camps, or whether asked to provide the accommodations free at the height of the tourist season, their most lucrative period for drawing visitors, with some whole apartments costing as little as $18 a night.

The company hopes that its campaign, which is Europe-wide, will help house a total of 100,000 people across the continent. The initiative is run with the help of the non-governmental organization Solidarity Now.