In cities across the world rent prices are sky rocketing and living costs are becoming even more expensive. In a time of high rent for almost everywhere in the world, one small residential complex in Germany has seemed to escaped the effects of inflation completely. This inflation-free idyllic housing complex is located in Fuggerei on the outskirts of Augsburg and the rent prices have not changed in 500 years! The residents in Fuggerei only pay the equivalent of $1 a year, which is the same price residents 500 years ago would have payed.
The housing complex may sound like it is unreasonably cheap, especially by modern day standards, but it was originally founded to help the poorest members of the community in Augsburg. In 1514, the wealthy businessman, Jakob Fugger founded Fuggerei as a social housing complex for the poorest living in Augsburg. Despite Jakob Fugger’s dream of providing wealthy and affordable housing, he was in fact the richest banker in the city. The Fugger family moved to Augsburg in Germany in the mid-14th century where they established a trading company for clothing. However, Jakob Fugger wanted to give something back to the community.
His aim was to create and provide social housing for people in need, this would be regardless of age, family background or social status. So, in 1514 he began to build Fuggerei for society and it still exists today. However, there were a few requirements to be able to live in his affordable housing which still apply to this day. To apply to live in Fuggerei you must be Catholic and have been a resident of Augsburg for at least two years. Once accepted, you had to agree to a 10 pm curfew and to also commit to praying for the benefactors, who were in this case the Fugger family, for three times a day in the local church. Still to this day residents must abide by these rules.
500 years ago, when the first inhabitants of Fuggerei moved in, they payed a small sum and because of the trust fund created back in 1514 by the wealthy Jakob Fugger, that sum in unchanged. The rent in Fuggerei is still only $1 a year, but on top of this residents have to pay $100 for heating and maintenance of the buildings and in addition another dollar for the upkeep of the local church. This price is still ridiculously low in comparison to the rent prices worldwide. Fuggerei truly has escaped the effects of inflation.