Alluring Italian Village Offers to Pay Rent For New Residents

A village in southern Italy is offering to pay the rent of new residents for three years in an attempt to boost the town’s dwindling population.

The town of Teora in the Campania region is promising to give people about $162 per month for two years if they decide to rent a house in the village. According to The Sun, rent in Teora can cost as low as $194 a month.

If they want to buy a permanent home, they will receive $6,475 from the government. Houses up for sale in the village can cost as much as $29,700.

To receive the money, the potential residents should live in the village for at least three years. Town officials want to attract families so potential residents who hope to live in the town rent-free are also required to have at least one child.

The population in the pastoral village started to dwindle after a massive earthquake in 1980. At least 157 residents were killed and several historical buildings were destroyed.

Many of Teora’s younger residents fled to safer ground and never came back. “Two babies are born [in Teora] each year versus 20 elders who die,” said Teora Mayor Stefano Farina. “We’re down to barely 1,500 residents.”

“I want to invert this negative trend. Children are our future, new families will be the building blocks of our shrinking community, so we encourage those with more kids to apply.”

Teora’s local government is taking a different approach from several Italian towns that are also hoping to attract new residents. Some Italian towns like Sicily are reportedly offering to vacant homes for as little as $1.29.

Farina, however, said that such a scheme would not really attract permanent residents. “I don’t believe in selling empty houses for €1, that doesn’t incentivize people to stay in town,” the mayor said.

“They just come a few months a year as holidaymakers. That’s not the solution. But taking up residency and enrolling kids at the local school, that does breathe new life.”