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Afghan refugees arriving at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in August 2021. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and co-founder Joe Gebbia said during a visit to Washington on Wednesday that they're offering temporary housing to 40,000 Afghan refugees worldwide, doubling a previous commitment.

The big picture: The housing typically lasts several weeks, and Airbnb and Airbnb.org provide subsidies to hosts. Hosts and donors also help pay.

  • Resettlement agencies tell Airbnb the highest-demand areas include Dallas, Northern Virginia, Sacramento, Seattle, Silver Spring, Maryland.

In an interview for "Axios Today," Chesky said: "We've always wanted to figure out how we can use our platform as a force for good, beyond our core business."

  • "Over the last 10 years, we've housed nearly 100,000 people displaced by disasters. A few years ago, we started housing refugees."

Gebbia said that since last month's initial announcement, Airbnb has seen a groundswell of people offering homes and donations.

  • "We feel very, very grateful and very lucky that an idea that started in our living room has expanded to over 4 million living rooms."
  • Gebbia said part of giving back is "simply asking the question when things like this happen in the world: How can we help?"

🎧 On "Axios Today" hear part of my conversation with Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia.

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Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated Oct 21, 2021 - Economy & Business

How the pandemic caused a corporate rebound

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork becomes a public company today worth more than $9 billion — a vindication of the expensive turnaround strategy employed after it spectacularly imploded in 2019. Like many companies that find themselves at death's door, that which didn't kill them made them stronger.

Why it matters: Hertz, Alamo Drafthouse, Airbnb, and Toast are among the currently-thriving companies that were shaken to the core in the early days of the pandemic — providing further evidence for the theory that, in the words of former Fast Company editor Bill Taylor, "companies can't be great unless they've almost failed."

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

3 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.