The offer of £1 house does sound pretty tempting, but it does come with some string attached.
- The new owner must live in the house for 10 years.
- The new owner is expected to somehow help the community to blossom again.
- The 2nd part won't be easy as the area is known to be a high crime region and there is a lot of youth drug addiction, so it is not ideal for people with teenage children.
This is not the first time some neighbourhoods around the world have done such actions.
In Detroit after the financial collapse it was possible to buy a house for $1 USD, but you also had to pay the back taxes on the land that the previous owner had refused to pay. Since then the city of Detroit has been forgiving some or most of the back taxes because even then people are unwilling to buy the property.
In Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada a company in the village of Whycocomagh offered to give people free land (2 acres) and a job on the island, but there was some strings attached to the deal of course. The Farmer's Daughter grocery store needed people to work there, but most young people in the area were leaving Cape Breton and nobody was willing to come work there. Needing the people to labour there, the owners of Farmer's Daughter sweetened the deal by offering free land to anyone who came and worked for them for 5 years or more.
If they stayed on at the store for five years, the two acres is theirs for free — as long as they cover legal costs to transfer the deed.
The truth is there is lots of places around the world where someone can buy a house (or build a house) very cheaply, and live there. The true challenge is the local cost of living and whether a person can find work locally (or work online).
One such place is Spain, which has seen many villages become abandoned during the past few decades.
It is now possible for someone to easily buy an abandoned home in Spain, cheaply, and then all they have to do is repair it. No string attached.
Well maybe one string. You still need to be able to find work locally. Proof that the cost of land is so often tied to economics.