World·Updated

Airbnb helps co-ordinate free emergency homes for Fort McMurray evacuees

The home-rental website Airbnb is joining the list of organizations helping in the aftermath of the devastating Fort McMurray fire by carrying listings for free accommodations for people who have had to flee their homes due to the fire.

Home-sharing service has taken similar user-spurred actions in wake of other disasters

All of the homes and apartments listed on the emergency page are offering accommodations at no charge. Airbnb says its participating users can offer their places for free until May 21. (Airbnb)

The home-sharing website Airbnb is joining the list of organizations helping in the aftermath of the devastating Fort McMurray fire.

The web-based company is co-ordinating free home and apartment rentals until May 21. It has waived the service fees it usually charges on transactions between users, and carrying listings from users who are renting out their places at no charge.

Most of the listings are in Edmonton, which is the main city evacuees have fled to.

Other organizations are offering housing to those who were forced to leave their homes, many of whom left with just the clothes on their backs.

The free Airbnb listings are primarily in the Edmonton area, which has become a hub for evacuees. (Airbnb)

Other sites in Edmonton offering shelter to evacuees are:

  • Edmonton Expo Centre
  • MacEwan University
  • Al Rashid Mosque

And several facilities have also opened their doors:

  • Lac La Biche Bold Centre, north of Edmonton
  • Wapasu Creek Lodge, north of Fort McMurray
  • Horizon North Blacksand Lodge, north of Fort McMurray
  • Suncor Firebag Village, north of Fort McMurray

Airbnb users have taken similar action before, such as when Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, and in the wake of the recent earthquake in Ecuador.

Click here for a full list of emergency relief services, including food and medical help.

Get breaking news alerts on this story and others. Download the CBC News app for iOS and Android.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now