In Belgium in the last year the number of people living on the streets doubled, going from 2600 to 5400. In that exact period the number of people offering a spare room or house through Airbnb doubled. For this reason Solidarité Grands Froids, an organisation aiming to help Brussels’ homeless overcome winter thanks to donations and fundraising actions has created the website Notfairbnb, an exact copy of the Airbnb website “but instead of luxury lofts and dream houses it features real places in Brussels where the homeless are forced to sleep”, explains the video here below.
The goal is to raise awareness of the problem of the homeless in the Belgian capital.
“The best of city life - Bruxelles-Chapelle railway station”, for 5 euros, public bench for solo traveller - rue des ursulines”, for 21 euros, or again “Pink mattress, boulevard Anspach, 23 euros. These are examples of places where the homeless spend the night in Brussels and that are for “rent” on the Notfairbnb platform. Every virtual booking generates a gift that is transferred to Solidarité Grands Froids and is used to help the homeless.
Under the slogan “Live where nobody wants to live” Notfairbnb propose 36 accommodation of different type (road, sidewalk, public building) the price of which varies from 5 to 50 euros.
Every accommodation is accompanied by a cynical description of the difficult conditions in which the accommodation is situated, like in “A charming stay at the boulevard Anspach” (above photo): “Just put your belongings on the sidewalk and take a seat without any formality. Enjoy the tantalising smells of the restaurant next door. The other door is your stay for the night, by the way. Nice touch: the terrace lights act as a cosy bed lamp”.
The website was launched on the 21st of December last year, first day of winter, and has attracted huge attention from the media, in Belgium and all over the world. The Brussels-based organisation has received donations from as far as New Zealand.
“The idea of Notfairbnb started travelling. Homeless organisations asked us to launch Notfairbnb in their own countries. Therefore we decided to open up our platform. At the moment Notfairbnb is operating in three continents and more countries will be launching soon”
“And this - continues the video- explains how a small local campaign became like Airbnb itself a worldwide success”.