Approximately 100,000 people are still homeless because of Hurricane Sandy. To address the need for shelter for these New Yorkers (especially with snow on the ground now) Mayor Bloomberg announced last night that he has teamed up with online accommodations marketplace, Airbnb, to connect those who would like to offer free housing to those displaced by last week’s storm. Housing all over New York can be found on Airbnb’s Donated Sandy Housing Directory and will be completely free. The platform will even provide insurance, customer service, and other services to those in need. Airbnb has already seen 2,500 last-minute bookings near affected areas and can continue to help victims with this new platform!
When Airbnb first made waves across the U.S., Mayor Bloomberg was so opposed to it that he made it illegal and punishable by fine to rent an apartment out for super short-term stays. Now the mayor has put these feelings aside to help create a platform for New Yorkers to stay dry, safe, and warm throughout the reconstruction of the city’s hardest hit areas. This is not the first time the Hurricane has made Bloomberg change his mind, as just last week he made a last minute decision to cancel the New York City Marathon, caving under public pressure. So far 370 New Yorkers – and counting – have opened up their homes for free..