Homelessness is rising. In the UK, there has been a 165% increase in the number of people sleeping rough since 2010.
There is less support than ever. Since 2010, the amount of government-built social housing has dropped by 97%. As a result, the biggest cause of homelessness in the UK is the end of a private tenancy.
People who become homeless find themselves in a catch-22 situation. To apply for jobs, receive benefits, open a bank account and receive post, you need to be able to fill out the address field on any number of forms. Losing an address therefore means more than losing your home, it means losing an important part of your digital identity and, as a result, losing access to the very services that could help you get back on your feet.
What we’re working towards
Through ProxyAddress, people at risk of homelessness can use the details of an unused address, owned by a local authority, as part of their digital identity. They don’t get to live in the property, but they do get to use the details of an address which stays with them, even if they need to move around, making it easier to access employment and stable financial support.
ProxyAddress is currently undergoing trials with Lewisham Council using identity verification software powered by Amiqus.