Picturesque Swiss village considers offering families £50,000 to move there

Residents hope proposal could help stop exodus from commune

Tuesday 21 November 2017 12:34 GMT
Albinen, near Leukerbad in Valais.
Albinen, near Leukerbad in Valais.

Residents of a small village in southwestern Switzerland are to vote on a policy offering money to outsiders if they move there.

The proposal follows an exodus in recent years of permanent of residents from Albinen, near Leukerbad in Valais. Many of the houses in the idyllic village are used as holiday homes.

Three families have left the village recently and the loss of eight pupils meant the local school had to close, commune Beat Jost told Swiss national news agency ATS.

Families who decide to buy or build a house in the village could soon be offered a 25,000 franc (£19,000) payment per adult and 10,000 (£7,600) francs per child, according to the village's newsletter.

A family of four people could be offered 70,000 francs (£53,000) to make the move.

But there are conditions attached to the stipend. Prospective residents must be under the age of 45 and must stay for at least ten years.

The house they buy or build has to be worth at least 200,000 francs (£152,000) and must be their primary residence.

The village would pay for the policy with a fund costing 100,000 francs a year. A newsletter to residents said the community would benefit in return through taxes and construction contracts.

“It is an investment in the village’s future,” the newsletter said.

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