Thursday 23 November 2017

They'll Pay You To Live Here! Picturesque Swiss Mountain Town Facing Exodus Of Residents Considers Offering $60,000 To Every Family Willing To Move In

The town of Albinen in the Swiss Canton of Valais is one of the many small Swiss mountain towns threatened with extinction as an increasing number of residents are moving away out of the countryside into the city.
Albinen, located into a gorgeous valley at an altitude of 1,300 metres (4,265 feet) above sea level, is a typical mountain town with its own church and traditional Valais architecture of its many chalets.

Anyone who moves away again ten years after the start of construction or after buying the house must repay the money
According to municipality president Beat Jost the town is characterised by its quietness, phenomenal views, great air quality and many hours of sunshine throughout the year. 
Even though the town is just under 4 miles away from the spa town of Leukerbad and the Canton capital of Sion and the industrial city of Visp are just a 35-minute drive by car, the town has emptied out over the years because of the lack of jobs.
Jost said that in the last few years the municipality saw three families with eight children moving away, forcing them to close the village school.
Nowadays, just 240 people are left in Albinen, among them seven children who have to go by bus to nearby towns to attend school.

The idea for offering payment for people to live in the town came from a group of younger citizens who launched a petition
To reverse the trend, Jost is now looking for people under the age of 45 to move into one of the many houses in town or to buy ground to build their own house.
A group of young citizens even launched a petition in August - signed by more than half of the eligible voters in town - asking the municipality to offer a cash incentive to those moving into town to reverse the trend of emigration.

The municipality of Albinen addressed the concerns of the citizens and came with a plan for active housing subsidies that include fixed financial contributions to individuals, couples and families moving to Albinen.
According to the initiative, which will be voted upon by the municipal council on 30th November, the benefits are meant for anyone under the age of 45 who wants to build, buy or renovate a home in town.
If the municipal council accepts the plan, each adult over the age of 45 will get 25,000 Swiss Francs (£18,992) with the town also paying 10,000 Swiss Francs (£7,597) for each child.
It means that a couple with two children would get 70,000 Swiss Francs (£53,188) if they decide to move into town.
As a result the entire community would benefit economically from the plan extra taxes and the town's social clubs would get a boost from young people engaging in traditional village life.

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