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or most people rent is the biggest expense they have to face each month and although the prices fluctuate, it seems to have a slight increase each year that is strongly felt for those with a lower income. The increase in rent rates is due to various reasons such as economical inflation, an increase in the housing market, and of course demand.

Many people around the world don’t own a home and the criteria for getting a mortgage are becoming more demanding, therefore in today’s economical situation, fewer people identify as homeowners. Our world is facing major inflation when it comes to renting, one that has not been seen in many years, and experts are only estimating that prices are going to keep rising.

Despite all this, there is one place on this capitalist earth where rent hasn’t been affected by anything for exactly 500 years. Inflation has been the main reason for the increase in all prices and this is because as time goes on, more people are strengthening their purchasing power.

1$ per year in Fuggerei

This place is located on the outskirts of Augsburg which happens to be the oldest city in Germany. In the small Bavarian village named Fuggerei, there is a social housing complex that hasn’t changed its rent since it has been built in 1521. This small social housing complex is also considered to be the oldest in existence.

Map of Fuggerei from the 17th century highlighting the walled social house complex (Source: mo5ml)

The house has been built by Jakob Fugger the Rich as he was known in the local community during the early 16th century. It was built specifically for citizens who were below the poverty line through no fault of their own. The criteria to apply for housing have also stayed the same. If someone wants to apply they need to show proof of their financial status and have no debt whatsoever.

The complex is made up of 67 houses that have been split up into 147 apartments. One of the houses hasn’t been refurbished as it is used to present what Bavarian medieval houses looked like in the 16th century. Most people that live in the complex today are seniors that have a small pension. It is amazing to see how the price has been kept the same for so long despite the complex suffering many damages through this period of 500 years due to the various wars that had taken place.

Destroyed and Rebuilt several times

In fact, the complex was destroyed more than three times, with the worst event taking place during the Second World War where 70% of the complex was bombed. However, every time the complex would be demolished, it had been rebuilt accordingly to the same style and traditional architecture. With time the apartments were renovated to stay up with the times, but the outside has been kept the same.

Inside of the house that serves as a museum (Source: Flickr/Polybert49)

If we look at the price of something very common from 500 years ago such as bread, a loaf would have cost you around 2 cents. 500 years ahead and applying inflation the average price for bread is around 1$. If you want to visit the complex you have to pay an entrance fee that sums up to five years of rent, so around 5$.

Although many people have not heard about this place, it used to be quite popular in its contemporary era. The most famous person that stayed here was actually Mozart’s great grandfather, making it special. What is really special is the community within the complex that helps one another and is very welcoming to the tourists who want to visit the complex as long as they respect the laws and rules.

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