he mayor of Teora, an Italian village and comune in the province of Avellino, has an offer: Free house renting and zero taxes for families with children who want to relocate there.
Nestled in the hills of southern Italy’s Campania region, near the famed Amalfi coast, the town wants to counter a problem plaguing many regions of Italy: population decline.
“The municipal administration aims to repopulate the center of the Alto Adige municipality by relaunching the school system and offering incentives for those who choose to rent or buy a house in the village,” the mayor, Stefano Farina,, says.
While other Italian towns suffering steady population loss every year have offered innovative programs such as selling empty houses for next to nothing, Teora is adding its own twist: The town will cover new residents’ rent for two years and then help them buy property should they decide to stay.
Specifically, the town will contribute €150 per month towards the rent for properties that are available for around €200, meaning that the newcomers will pay just €50 a month. Alternately, the town will grant them €5,000 up front to buy a property, which equals 10-20% of the total value.
Teora’s population, now fewer than 1,500, never recovered from a devastating earthquake in 1980. According to municipal records, on average only two babies are born in Teora annually against 20 deaths, mainly caused by old age.