Spain grants subsidies to young people who want to live in depopulated villages

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depopulated villages

Villages and rural areas in Spain have faced severe depopulation over the past decades. More and more villages are becoming depopulated or losing essential services such as healthcare, education, and banks. To attract new and especially young residents to this ‘España Vaciada’ (Empty Spain), various municipalities and public institutions are taking measures with a view to long-term repopulation.

According to a 2019 report by the Ministry for Ecological Transition, 48.4% of Spanish municipalities are at risk of depopulation, and 82.4% have fewer than one hundred inhabitants per square kilometre. If effective policy measures are not taken, these areas risk further depopulation and eventual disappearance.

Read also: Six abandoned villages in Spain for sale for less than 100,000 euros

Initiatives to promote repopulation

One of the main strategies that municipalities and public institutions are using to tackle this problem is attracting young people to depopulated villages and empty areas. The Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has allocated subsidies totaling €16.2 million to local entities in areas facing depopulation. Additionally, €1.2 million is allocated to non-profit organisations and €2.6 million for promoting economic activities and supporting entrepreneurship in rural areas. The focus of the latter is on female and young entrepreneurs.

Subsidies for living in villages

Under the State Housing Plan 2022-2025, there are various subsidies for young people under 35 who want to buy a house in municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants. The subsidy can be up to €10,800, with a limit of 20% of the purchase price, provided the house does not cost more than €120,000. The specific requirements vary by the agency providing the subsidy, such as the number of inhabitants in the municipality and the value of the property. Besides government programs, there are also other programs with their own conditions.

Regional subsidies

  • Asturias: Subsidies for the purchase or renovation of a home in depopulated areas, aimed at young people under 35, large families, and single-parent families.
  • Castile and León: Subsidies for young people under 36 for the purchase of a house in municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, or 3,000 if they are within 30 kilometres of a provincial capital. They also offer a 20% discount on the purchase of a public housing in rural areas and a guarantee for a mortgage up to 97.5% of the house’s value, with a maximum price of €240,000.
  • La Rioja: The Revive Plan offers subsidies to people up to 45 years old who want to buy a house in municipalities with 5,000 or fewer inhabitants and do not own another home. The subsidy can be up to 40% in municipalities with 500 or fewer inhabitants, 30% in municipalities with 501 to 2,000 inhabitants, and 20% in municipalities with 2,001 to 5,000 inhabitants, with a maximum of €40,000, €30,000, and €20,000 respectively.
  • Ourense: The Ourense Rural es Vida project aims to repopulate small municipalities in Galicia, with a budget of €150,000 from the ‘Next Generation’ funds. The project encourages entrepreneurship, teleworking, and revitalises villages that are losing inhabitants.
  • Murcia: Young people under 35 can receive a subsidy of up to €10,800 for the purchase of a house in municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, limited to 20% of the purchase price.

Registration and Organisations

If you want to know more or are interested in these subsidies and measures, you can register with organisations such as ‘Vente a Vivir a Un Pueblo‘, ‘Proyecto Arraigo‘, and ‘Pueblos Vivos‘, which offer support for moving to rural areas and repopulating depopulated areas.

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