Swiss town is PAYING people £50,000 to move there: Stunning mountain village is offering cash in bid to reverse population decline
- At the end of 2018, there were just 238 residents living in the very small village
- The beautiful village has been threatened with extinction for some time now
Are you struggling with the cost-of-living? Tired of miserable grey skies when we’re supposed to be entering spring? One Swiss town might have the answer to ease your woes.
Albinen, located in the canton of Valais, is offering to pay families over £50,000 just to move to the stunning mountain valley village.
The beautiful area sits on the mountain slope at 4,265 feet (1,300 metres) above sea level. Its traditional chalets look down over vast surroundings of snowy white peaks.
The small village has been threatened with extinction for some time as an increasing number of residents are moving out of the rural picturesque community in favour of surrounding cities.
At the end of 2020, there were just 243 residents in the village. But the scheme, originally launched in 2018, is hoping to buck that trend.
Albinen, located in the canton of Valais, is offering to pay people over £50,000 just to move to the stunning mountain valley village
The beautiful area sits on the mountain slope at 1,300 metres (4,265 feet) above sea level
The scheme was launched five years ago to reverse the trend of people leaving the town.
Despite the alluring village being just over four miles (6.8km) from the spa town of Leukerbad and a 35 minute drive from both the Canton capital Sion and the industrial city of Visp, the town has emptied out over the years because of the lack of jobs.
Families of four will receive 25,000 Swiss Francs (£22,440) per adult and a further 10,000 Swiss Francs (£8,975) per child.
While the deal for over £50,000 in exchange for moving to one of the world’s most beautiful spots is tempting, there are some other requirements.
To stop the town form emptying, Albinen is looking for people aged under 45 to take up residence.
You will also need to be a Swiss citizen with a permit C residence.
If you are citizen of an EU or European Free Trade Association country, or from the U.S. or Canada, you can obtain this after living in Switzerland for five years. But for other countries, including us Brits, you would need to live in Switzerland continuously for a decade.
You are then required to live in a home valued at at least 200,000 Swiss Francs (£180,000) – and then you must remain living in Albinen for 10 years.
Albinen’s traditional chalets look down over vast surroundings of snowy white peaks
At of the end of 2018, there were just 238 residents in the small village. But the scheme, originally launched in 2018, is hoping to buck that trend
If you leave the scenic town before the term is up, you will then have to pay back your £50,000 payout.
The municipality’s president Beat Jostin in 2017 said Albinen was characterised by its quietness, phenomenal views, great air quality, and many hours of sunshine throughout the year.
Jost also added some more caveats: ‘Second homes and large residential complexes of investor groups are out of the question.
‘Anyone who moves away again ten years after the start of construction or after buying the house must repay the money.’
Despite the strict requirements, Switzerland does boast one of the best education systems in the world, and air pollution also isn’t such an issue up a mountain side.
Life expectancy is also relatively high, and the country has a low violent crime rate.
Albinen: Switzerland’s shrinking village
Sitting 4,265 feet (1,300 metres) above the upper Rhône valley, Albinen has been subject to a dwindling population for many years.
The total population in the provincial town has fallen by over 100 residents within the past 80 years, and the majority of current residents are elderly.
There were just five school aged children in 2018. As it was no longer viable to have a school in the village, the facility closed down. Instead children take a 20-minute bus journey to the nearest school.
The total area of the small village is 6 square miles (15.5 square kilometres). Half of the area is cultivated for agricultural purposes, with several orchards around the town.
Albinen sits on the Swiss Alps. Its buildings look out over the south onto the Penine Alps.
The local economy largely depends on tourism. A number of the houses that former residents have since left behind have turned into second holiday homes and short-term rental accommodation for visitors.
Surrounded by such vast scenery, the town is known for its incredible hikes. Albinen Tourism offer an extensive list of walks for visitors. One of the trails, ‘Albinenleitern’, offers the chance to climb a cliff face up a ladder.
In the winter, skiers can head for the snowy peaks at the nearby Rinderhütte resort. There are around 50km of snow to enjoy during the season surrounded by breathtaking panoramic views of the Alps.