Another Italian village is in the news after making an interesting offer to those who want a new place to live. The place is Santo Stefano di Sessanio, where the population is said to be very low.
In recent years, Italian villages and towns have announced just about every offer to attract new residents. It all began with the places offering some money for people to move in. Other towns and villages later made other offers, including the sale of homes and other properties for just one euro. The only condition is that owners have to renovate the property within a certain amount of time.
The offer from Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a bit different from the rest. The village is offering to pay people that move and start a business there. The offer is not just that, there is also support by giving them a place to live with a rent lower than usual.
The village is facing the same problem of other places in Italy, low population. CNN Travel reports that there are only 115 residents. Less than 20 of them are under the age of 13 while around half of them are retired.
CNN Travel spoke with the mayor and he said that the number of year-round residents is between just 60 and 70. With the offer, the village will pay new residents a monthly fee for three years. The fee can be up to 8,000 euros per year. The town council is also offering a 20,000 euro payment so the resident can start a business project.
CNN Travel reports that around 1,500 people have applied for the program since it began on October 15. The council only plans to have around 10 people, mostly five couples. The mayor told the news site they want to ramp up numbers gradually, adding they have to work with the housing that belongs to the authorities.
The process of starting a business there or moving is not as easy as just applying. The program is only available for a few activities selected by the council, including businesses that can sell or bring food to the area.
The requirements are:
- Age between 18 and 40.
- Applicants cannot be from areas close to the village.
- Applicants cannot be from other towns that are struggling with low population. They must come from an area that has more than 2,000 residents.
- They have to be Italian citizens or have some sort of permission to live in Europe.
- They must remain in the town for five years.
There are still a few things that the village has not confirmed just yet. They are still thinking about the rents they will offer for the people that are selected. They also have to come up with restrictions to stop people from receiving the money and leaving the town.
The village is one of many that are looking to bring back people. Some of these places have seen their populations drop over the years. The majority of them have seen their younger population leave in search of new job opportunities and schools.