LEGRAD, Croatia: Seeking to lure new residents, a town in northern Croatia, in Europe, is selling its abandoned homes for 16 cents each.
Legrad, like other rural towns in Croatia, is struggling to survive due to rural depopulation.
Legrad was once the second-largest population centre in Croatian territory, but has been in a state of decline since the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire a century ago and borders were rewritten.
“We turned into a border town with few transport connections to other places. Since then, the population has been gradually falling,” said the town’s mayor, Ivan Sabolic, as quoted by United Press International.
Near the border with Hungary, the town has 2,250 inhabitants, about half the population of 70 years ago.
In seeking to repopulate the town, 17 homes have been sold. The houses are all in various states of disrepair. Some are in very poor condition, without windows and doors, and walls are covered with mold.
To further encourage new residents, the municipality will pay $4,000 towards renovations. Those purchasing privately-owned homes will receive $5,600 in assistance, the mayor said.