Photo Credit: Olivier Guillard
Airbnb Bans Properties Once Used To House Enslaved People
Airbnb has announced it will no longer allow properties once used to house enslaved people to be listed. The announcement comes after the platform experienced backlash from parties outraged to learn it had former slave cabins listed.
What we know
Back in July, a listing came to light via a viral TikTok video in which a Black attorney exposed an 1830s slave cabin in Mississippi, the “Panther Burn Cottage” situated on Belmont Plantation in Greenville.
Under the new policy, plantation listings with “structures that existed during the time of slavery…still present on the property” will be removed from Airbnb.
Structures that used to house enslaved people will also be barred from future listings, and any “slave-related features” that may exist on a property are not allowed to be used to market the property.
According to Ben Breit, spokesperson for Airbnb, existing listings that fall within this category are currently actively being removed.
What Airbnb says
The ban comes two years after the launch of Airbnb’s Project Lighthouse anti-discrimination initiative.
Speaking on the program, Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement of Airbnb, said, “Discrimination and bias unfortunately happen in our world, so they can play out on platforms like Airbnb – and that’s unacceptable to us.”
“We want everyone to feel safe and welcome using our platform. We believe you can’t fix what you don’t measure, so we’re using Project Lighthouse to help us uncover disparities among perceived racial groups and inform our work to make Airbnb more equitable for people of color.”
Related: Black Attorney Calls Out Airbnb For Slave Cabin Listing, Airbnb Apologizes