The town of Salemi in Sicily is the latest entry in the ‘one euro a house club’. According to a CNN reportover the next month, a few dozen crumbling dwellings will go up for auction with a starting price of €1, or a little over a dollar.

The town’s mayor, Domenico Venuti, hopes the scheme will rejuvenate the town, which saw its population shrink considerably when at least 4,000 residents fled following the terrible earthquake of 1968 that hit Sicily’s Belice Valley.

Though many towns across Italy have offered this very scheme already, Salemi was the first town to consider this scheme. However, the town officials couldn’t get the project signed off at the time due to various bureaucratic issues, and it was deemed necessary for the town to receive an external makeover first.

“It was a long process,” CNN quoted Venuti as saying. “Not only did we carry out thorough maintenance works to secure the risky crumbly areas, but we also had to recover many properties to residential use. We’ve been ready for a while but wanted to wait and see how the Covid-19 emergency evolved”, he added.

The selected houses will go up for auction with a €1 starting price, same as the method adopted by the Sicilian town of Sambuca, where dwellings were sold to the highest bidder.