Italian city that offers free houses and cash bonuses to people who have a baby

An Italian city is giving away free houses because it is very desperate to attract new residents, but obviously there is a catch. The mountainous community of Cammarata has panoramic views and beautiful sunsets on the Mediterranean island and is rich in history. But with a smaller population and many empty buildings, Mayor Vincenzo Giambrone has launched an ambitious plan to save his hometown and historic center.

It is convincing the owners of abandoned family homes to hand over the keys of the ruined buildings to new residents who are willing to fix them and move. Couples who have a baby after moving will receive a cash bonus.

Buyers must submit a renewal proposal, pay a deposit of € 5,000 (£ 4,300) and agree to renew the property within three years. The deposit will be returned once the renovations are completed and the building becomes a family home or business, such as a B&B, a shop or a restaurant. Priority is being given to young couples with children. Couples who move in and then have a baby will receive a bonus of € 1,000 (£ 865).

Giambrone said he is determined to make the city, which stands at an altitude of approximately 3,200 feet, a vibrant place to live again. I can't stand to see this beautiful and old historical center empty and turned into a ruin.

There are more than 100 abandoned houses in the city. About a dozen empty stone buildings are currently available and ready for new residents.

Several Italian cities have sold houses for only € 1, with conditions, in an attempt to revitalize themselves.

The city on top of a hill, Sicily, did so after suffering depopulation as residents moved to larger cities with more amenities. Zungoli, in the southern region, and also on the island of Sicily, have offered similar plans to attract new blood.