Vodnjan Gives Land to Young Families to Keep Them from Emigrating

By 19 June 2018

Land for construction of new houses is being given away for one kuna per square metre.

The Town of Vodnjan in Istria has officially awarded 14 land plots for the construction of family homes for one kuna per square metre per year. Each plot covers about 500 square metres, overlooks the sea and will be available to families for the next fifty years. The goal is to keep young people from emigrating and to attract young families from other regions to Istria, reports Jutarnji List on June 19, 2018.

At the same time, the town also sold six stone houses in the old part of the town. These homes, which are up to 200 years old, were offered for sale under very favourable conditions. The buyers have two years to fix them and move in, and the town will then lower the purchasing price by one-third of the reconstruction costs. This means that, if they invest three times the price for which they bought the houses, they will virtually have them for free.

All those who have signed contracts for the land plots must register as residents of Vodnjan within three years.

“The project is called Vodyoung and the goal is to keep locals living here and attract young families from other towns. Vodnjan is a town of economic development and more and more people are being hired, so they should live here as well. This is not the first such competition, and we will have more of them, maybe even before the end of the year,” said Mayor Klaudio Vitasović.

About 40 applications were received for the land plot part of the competition. “As soon as we saw the announcement, we had to apply because we wanted to have our family home. We currently live with our three children at the parents’ house in the old town, and in this way, we will have enough room for everyone. I firmly believe we will soon have our own home,” said Drago Marjanović.

Selma Ibrišagić from Pula will renovate a 150-square-metre old house on three floors just next to the town hall in the centre of Vodnjan. She plans to live there with her husband and their child. “I was fortunate to be the first on the list of all the candidates who had the opportunity to buy real estate in the old town core. Since I was the first one, I selected the property I liked the most. I plan to renovate it and live there. This is a wonderful initiative and has attracted many people from Pula to move to Vodnjan,” she said.

About 3,500 people currently live in Vodnjan, but as much as 30 percent of all buildings in the old town core are abandoned. Unfortunately, owners of many homes live abroad and do not care for their properties. The town owns about 30 old buildings in the centre that will be put to use in the foreseeable future. Some will be turned into homes, while others will be offered to tourists.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Barbara Ban).