Airbnb-MCDEM Memorandum of Understanding Factsheet

This page provides information about the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Emergency Management Agency and Airbnb.

Download a pdf version of this factsheet (.pdf 180kb)


Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list and book privately-owned accommodation around the world. The National Emergency Management Agency and Airbnb have agreed to enter into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate accommodation for displaced people and for emergency services workers in connection with an emergency.

The agreement also enables for emergency preparedness and response materials to be distributed from MCDEM and CDEM Groups to hosts (accommodation providers) and guests of Airbnb hosts, as appropriate.

Activation of the MOU

In the event of an emergency, a CDEM Group can formally request MCDEM to activate the MOU (via the National Controller).

Once a CDEM request for activation has been made, MCDEM will notify Airbnb, and connect Airbnb with the relevant CDEM Group(s) for the provision of emergency accommodation.

Principles for the provision of emergency accommodation

It is intended for the MOU to be utilised by CDEM Groups, through MCDEM, to supplement their arrangements.

It is not intended that MCDEM, or CDEM Groups, be responsible for the end-to-end matching process (i.e. matching people with properties), but rather the MOU provides a means by which displaced people and emergency services workers can self-match and manage their own arrangements during and following an emergency.

Should however, CDEM Groups choose to provide an end-to-end matching service, the principles are as outlined in section 12.2 of the Welfare Services in an Emergency Directors’ Guideline.

Safety, and the appropriateness of the home (including considering the varying degrees of vulnerability, accessibility and the needs of children and companion animals) should be considered at all times, when matching displaced people with properties.

MCDEM recommends that if CDEM Groups choose to provide an end-to-end matching service, then they should match displaced people with self-contained premises, rather than available rooms in occupied homes.

Provision of emergency accommodation

Airbnb will liaise with all hosts that have opted into providing their homes for no cost to people displaced as a result of an emergency. Once the MOU is activated, properties will be made available to displaced people via a specific Airbnb webpage, which will be shared with CDEM Groups during the event.

Emergency service workers (including emergency services, government agencies, and official non-government organisations as per the National CDEM Plan 2015) opting to use this accommodation service will pay normal rates. This will be facilitated by Airbnb.

Priority for the provision of accommodation should be given to displaced persons before considering the placement of emergency service workers. Agencies are responsible for their own staff in regards to the provision (and treatment) of accommodation.


Airbnb has arrangements with all hosts concerning liability. As such, MCDEM, CDEM Groups, and local authorities have no responsibility, or liability for damage to property, unpaid chargers, or costs in relation to accessing Airbnb residences under the MOU, or for people accessing Airbnb residences under the MOU refusing to vacant properties.

Public information management

This agreement can also be utilised to distribute emergency preparedness and response material to hosts and/or guests of Airbnb residences.

Where appropriate, Airbnb can share information during an emergency with hosts and guests of Airbnb residences in an affected area, including emergency notifications, and information provided by MCDEM and/or CDEM Groups.