Free short-term accommodations
The Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation’s (BMCF) partnership with Airbnb’s Open Homes Medical Stays program provides free temporary accommodations to patients diagnosed with any form of cancer or undergoing a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, as well as housing for their caregivers, family members, and donors.
The need for temporary housing
This program relieves a significant financial burden for those who need to travel for treatment, which can be a major barrier to accessing life-saving treatment. Physicians also generally recommend that patients stay close to the cancer center to improve treatment outcomes.
The need to travel to a cancer center can produce tremendous hardship. Patients often have difficulty finding affordable housing, on top of continuing to cover expenses at home like rent and mortgage. Families are often separated during a time when they need one another the most. This impacts quality of life and increases stress for the patient and family members.
Many of the larger cancer centers have only a very limited number of temporary housing units at free or reduced rates, often causing financial stress or inhibiting traveling for treatment altogether. Many of these temporary hospital accommodations also have restrictions such as age that disqualify some patients or their family members. Unavailable housing can cause delayed treatments, impacting survival rates.
An Airbnb home can make all the difference
By increasing the availability of temporary housing, Airbnb’s Open Homes Medical Stays program helps remove a significant barrier to care and keeps families together. This program will have a profound and life-saving impact on patients and their families.
The application process
- The BMCF’s patient coordinators reviews the application.
- Once approved, the BMCF’s patient coordinators and Airbnb team assist in booking a home geographically close to the patient’s treatment center.
- Patients must be seeking or receiving active treatment, and must live at least 30 miles from treatment center.
- Patients must have a permanent home to return to after treatment.
- Patients must be at least 18 years of age or accompanied by an adult who is a guardian/caregiver, and must be able to care for oneself unless staying with a caregiver.
- Requests for a medical stays must be made by the treatment facility’s social worker, nurse, or physician.
- Annual household income should be less than $75,000