It is no news that Airbnb is a very popular platform for finding interesting and affordable places to stay at when traveling. It is also no news that Airbnb has suffered several discrimination allegations over the years. The company has made various efforts to make strides in resolving discrimination by their hosts, although many will argue that they have not done nearly enough.
The latest effort by Airbnb is a partnership with NAACP to encourage more people of color to be hosts throughout the country in order to fight discrimination. In turn, NAACP will receive 20% of the revenue from this program. Airbnb hopes to hit two birds with one stone with this program; expand in communities of color where it sees a huge potential for growth and appear side by side with an 108 years old organization that is known for fighting for racial discrimination.
There are those who believe this move is both too late for Airbnb and damaging to communities of color. As properties across the country are being bought up and converted to temporary rentals, property values and rent has risen beyond the reach of working class families. The critics are afraid this will undoubtedly will be the fate for black communities if Airbnb and other companies like it take hold in these communities.
Supporters of this project, however, point out two benefits communities can receive from this move. The first one is for home owners to take part in the share economy that other communities have been benefiting from in the last many years. The other benefit is the one that the community in general receives when a renter stays in one of the homes in that community. The renter spends money in local businesses, be it restaurants or shops.
The effect of this partnership is yet to be seen. Click here to read the full report on this partnership from NPR.