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Airbnb pilot project to limit ability for young people to rent entire homes

The restrictions will go into effect on Monday.
airbnb presser toronto
Airbnb press conference in Toronto - February 5/ Mark Douglas

Airbnb is launching a pilot project which will prevent people under the age of 25 from booking Canadian listings for entire homes.

The company says it wants to cut down on unauthorized parties like the one where three young men were killed in Toronto last weekend, and the incident which saw four people shot and one killed on Gilmour Street in Ottawa.

It says the measure relies on user-provided information and "user verification systems."

The company is also introducing a "24/7 neighbourhood support telephone hotline" in Canada, to connect residents with "rapid response agents" who will deal with concerns.

Airbnb says people under 25 who meet certain criteria, such as having a list of positive reviews, will still be able to book entire homes.

The Toronto shooting happened during a party in a downtown condo that was rented out through Airbnb.

Airbnb's Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications Chris Lehane says, while they can't do anything to bring back the lives lost during the fatal shooting, they can do something from a responsibility perspective.

"Anytime that you have an event like those that occurred on Friday night, it impacts and tears the fabric of a community," said Lehane. "Airbnb is ultimately about community. Airbnb’s purpose organizing principle is trust. Those hosts are only able to succeed if those guests can treat those homes like their own homes."

Airbnb also announced Wednesday that it will donate $300,000 to Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns over the course of three years. It's to go towards "initiatives focused on raising awareness about protection from guns and keeping communities safe."

With files from The Canadian Press

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