The World’s Oldest Social Housing Project Where Rent Is Just $1.10 a Year

Imagine if your rent was $1.10 a year and hadn’t changed for the past 500 years. Yes, such a place really does exist. Located in the Bavarian city of Augsburg, the Fuggerei is considered to be the oldest social housing project in the world and continues to provide subsidized housing for Augsburg residents facing financial hardship. Today, about 150 people live in the Fuggerei, spread out across 140 apartments. The complex gets about 30-40 applications a year, with a waiting list that currently has 80 names on it. The Fuggerei's layout offers spaces to congregate and encourages social interaction among neighbors. One of the Fuggerei's most unique aspects is its unchanged yearly rent of €0.88 ($1.10). The Fuggerei also provides residents with access to two social workers whose responsibilities include fielding and reviewing applications, mediating disputes between neighbors, and helping out with bureaucratic tasks. They also act as liaisons between the residents and health insurance companies and medical services, often accompanying them to their meetings to ensure they get what they need. The estate resembles a sort of medieval gated community, complete with green spaces, a small square where residents can sit on the surrounding benches and catch up, and a fountain. Residents and staff often describe the Fuggerei "a village within a city.”