ADDress - Japan
= shared housing platform in Japan, focusing on empty rural housing
URL = https://address.love/
Louise George Kittaka:
"ADDress, a shared house service platform which works on a subscription basis. ADDress was launched in April 2019 and is backed by Gaiax, a firm that focuses on social media and the sharing economy to work on various issues. Takashi Sabetto, president of the ADDress operation, says the mission is to put the akiya to good use while also helping people to build community connections.
Upon joining the service, members can stay at any of the houses in the ADDress network, but this is no carbon copy of the Airbnb model. Sabetto says that ADDress users range from families and couples on weekend getaways from city life, to digital nomads and corporate employees seeking a new working style. However, what makes ADDress particularly unique is that it utilizes houses in rural areas with declining populations, with the aim of forging ties between visitors and local residents.
Sabetto has been passionate about the sharing economy since his student days and is at the forefront of Japan’s burgeoning interest in this sector. Before launching ADDress he founded the Sharing Economy Association of Japan, another initiative that comes under the Gaiax umbrella, and is a man on a mission to promote the merits of co-living.
While Japan’s diminishing population is invariably cited as the main reason the akiya problem exists in the first place, there are additional underlying factors. Empty or abandoned dwellings can be found all over Japan, and even in Tokyo it is thought that as many as 10% of homes stand empty. However, Sabetto points out that the problem has hit rural areas particularly hard. “The younger generations tend to gravitate towards the cities when they go to college or start work,” he says. “Even if someone inherits a house back in their home town after their parents pass away, it’s expensive to maintain the house so they just leave it standing empty.” (https://www.shareable.net/addressing-japans-akiya-issue/)