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Airbnb Expands Program Offering Free Shelter For Wildfire Evacuees

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Short-term rental platform Airbnb expanded their disaster assistance program to help hosts in Oakland and Berkeley shelter victims displaced by the North Bay fires, Airbnb officials said Thursday morning.

Hosts located in San Francisco as well as parts of Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda and Mendocino counties are now able to make their rentals available at no cost for evacuees forced to leave their homes in the Napa and Santa Rosa areas as well as emergency relief workers and volunteers.

More than 200 hosts have signed up for the program, which runs through Oct. 30, according to Airbnb.

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"We encourage hosts in safe areas to aid in this effort by listing their available rooms or homes on the platform to help the growing number of people evacuating," Head of Global Disaster Response and Relief Kellie Bentz said.

"Our thoughts continue to be with everyone impacted by these fires, and we thank the dedicated government and emergency response agencies who are working to keep our communities safe," Bentz added.

Airbnb's disaster response and relief program was activated for Northern California fire victims on Monday. It dates back to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 as a way of making space available to people in need after natural disasters.

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