The scheme took off last year, with a number of towns and villages across Italy offering properties for cheap to encourage people to move to the area, which usually had dwindling or ageing populations.
The mayor of Maenza, Claudio Sperduti, said that putting the town on the scheme was part of a “pact for the rebirth” of the village, and aims to recover around 100 disused properties by liaising between existing owners and potential buyers.
He told CNN: “We’re taking it one step at a time. As original families get in touch and hand over to us their old houses, we place these on the market through specific public notices on our website to make it all very transparent.”
According to the scheme’s website, the town’s administration wants to “combat the abandonment of the ancient medieval village of the city centre”, which is located about 70km southeast of Rome.
Interested buyers will have to commit to renovating the properties, some of which are so dilapidated that they pose a danger to passersby, and must do so within three years. They will also have to pay a deposit guarantee of €5,000 (approximately £4,293), which will be returned once the renovation works are completed.
Detailed plans on what the property will become, whether it is a home or converted into a bed and breakfast, shop or restaurant, must be filed.
Local officials will try to match interested buyers to their property requests, and while applications for the first few houses closes on 28 August, Sperduti promised that more will go on the market as talks get underway with homeowners.
It will not be mandatory for buyers to live in the homes they buy and renovate, but Sperduti said families with children and young couples who want to live in Maenza on a semi-permanent basis are encouraged to apply.
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