The Italian village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio is hoping to attract new younger residents by offering them grants totaling as much as 44,000 euros ($52,022).
The picturesque hilltop village in the Abruzzo region, southeast Italy shared details of the project on the local council’s website last week.
Santo Stefano currently only has 115 residents, 41 of which are over the age of 65, while just 13 people living in the village are under 20 years old.
The local council said, therefore, it was “essential” to do something to ensure “a sustainable and lasting development of the territory,” according to a translation of the announcement.
It devised the initiative to attract new residents, which included offering a maximum grant of 8,000 euros a year for three years, paid monthly. It said it would offer another grant, a one-off maximum payment of 20,000 euros, for new residents to start a business.
The council will provide residents in the scheme with a property, on which they will only pay “nominal” rent. It also specified that those applying for the scheme needed to between 18 and 40 years old.
They can be Italian residents from outside the area but need to be moving from a place with no less than 2,000 people. Applicants can also be EU citizens or non-EU citizens with a long-term residence permit issued for an indefinite period.
Applicants have to transfer their residence to Santo Stefano for a minimum of five years and open a business in the village. However, the business must be in areas identified as a priority by the council — a tourist, sports or culture guide, a cleaner, generic maintenance technician, drugstore manager, or marketing and selling local food.
Applications to the initiative must be submitted by November 15 2020.