It really is amazing when small ideas make big changes, and SATORI & SCOUT have internally discussed in our studio how much potential this idea enclosed really has. Developed by Hildrey Studio, ProxyAddress is a brand new database-driven scheme that aims to essentially connect homeless people with a physical address across England, with some 500,000 homes reported to be left empty or un-used, ensuring that these vulnerable people are not left without vital services only available to those that ever hold a registered address.
Hildrey Studio are proudly pioneering such a scheme, and using empty abodes and connecting them with people without any home to their name, such a scheme allows the homeless to access services, get identification, build financial history, and avoid stigma, et al. As Hildrey Studio explains, “…by doing this at an early stage, it helps avoid entrenchment and ease recovery. The project is currently moving towards live trials in selected councils with the goal being to roll the service out nationally.”
Awarded the 2018 RIBA President’s Medal for Research, this scheme is particularly aiming to overcome one of the leading causes of homelessness in the country: when landlords terminate contracts prematurely. With a 78 per cent rise in homelessness across 2017 according to Shelter, such a problem is very real and is absolutely evident across the streets of England (and beyond). Equally too, almost equal to the initial issue is the continued spiral that can then continue on, whereby it is essential to have a registered address for people to ever apply for a job, or hold a bank account. Without any of these essential – simple – components to someone’s life, the escape route away from homelessness becomes ever harder.
Permitting a stable address for official correspondence, ProxyAddress aims to block such a spiral from ever occurring. In theory, homeless people could be matched with an address of one of the 500,000 houses currently empty, thereby providing a location for someone to have as a base to rebuild their lives. Interviewing many people who are homeless as part of Hildrey Studio’s research, the general consensus is that this idea is ‘brilliant’. SATORI & SCOUT agrees.
Discover more about the scheme online at: ProxyAddress.co.uk
An Idea That Needs To HappenWith Architects awarding themselves the authority and responsibility of attempting to combat all the challenges of the UK's rising homelessness issue, is this idea but the humble start?
(Photography Credit : Hildrey Studio)