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The Region of Piedmont beckons those who have an interest in living the Alpine lifestyle, Source: Regione Piemonte

Piedmont offers help with buying a home in a bid to repopulate mountains

Piedmont offers help with buying a home in a bid to repopulate mountains

What applicants have to do is purchase or renovate a house there and make it their primary residence

It seems that this summer Italian authorities from across the country have decided to get serious about reversing the demographic decline in their rural backyards. The latest in this trend is the Region of Piedmont, located in the north of the country.

Its government is now offering the chance to residents of bigger localities to discover rural life in the Alps, which take up almost half of the region’s territory. The incentive they offer is a subsidy of between 10 000 and 40 000 euros in buying a house there or renovating it in case it is already owned. The one strict condition? That house has to become your primary residence, minimum for the next ten years.

Who gets a priority standing for the aid?

The press release does not explicitly state whether the offer is available to non-Italian citizens. For one the marketing campaign is in Italian and apparently it calls on residents of larger Italian cities.

Otherwise, the priority of the regional government is to entice younger people and families, basically people in their productive work age, to settle in the mountainous towns of less than 5000 inhabitants. The overall budget that had been set aside for that programme is 10 million euros.

Applicants can choose from among 465 such towns and villages to settle in. Those born after 1955 can apply and, in order to ensure that especially young people adhere to the call, those born after 1980 will receive a higher score.

Reward score points will be given also for interventions carried out, such as work carried out in a mountain town or in smart-working at least 50% in the home for which financing is requested, and having at least one child aged 10 or under with habitual residence in the property purchased.

Plus points will also go also for renovations made with architectural and landscape solutions provided by the Piedmont Region and for the use of materials typical of the Piedmontese Alpine landscape. Likewise, if the renovation work is given to companies with registered offices in a Piedmontese mountain municipality.

Further details

The official call for the new initiative has not yet been published but this will happen on 1 September, and applications will be accepted from the beginning of November until the end of December on a dedicated online platform.

Authorities pointed out that this is a measure that will not remain isolated and is, in fact, linked in a synergistic way to another call that the Piedmont Region will launch in the autumn to encourage the creation of "service shops". These will provide specific contributions to support activities in the mountain areas that offer services to citizens.

"Together with the residential incentive programme,  we are working with the mountain Unions to identify important actions for our 'service shops', aimed at combating commercial desertification in mountain areas and, consequently, guaranteeing inhabitants of these areas the provision of goods and services that improve their quality of life," emphasized Fabio Carosso, Vice-President of Piedmont Region.

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