In the quaint village of Fuggerei, located in the southern German state of Bavaria, residents enjoy a unique perk that has been in place for over five centuries: incredibly affordable housing.
The Fuggerei is the world’s oldest social housing complex and was established in 1520 by rich merchant and banker Jakob Fugger. The rent has not changed since the Fuggerei’s founding.
Residents of the Fuggerei can reside in one of the 67 houses in the complex, which also has a church and a garden, for just one euro a year.
The only restriction is that prospective tenants must be Catholic and have been in the neighbourhood for at least two years before applying for a lease. In addition, they are obligated to offer the Fugger family, who still own the complex, three prayers each day.
The Fuggerei was founded to give the underprivileged access to affordable homes, and it still fulfils same role today. In reality, because the rent is so low, the hamlet has a strong sense of community and many of the residents are elderly or disabled.