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De Dichterlijke Vrijheid (DDV), Netherlands

In order to address the severe social and economic problems in the Spangen neighbourhood of the city, Rotterdam Development Corporation decided to give an old apartment block away for free, on condition that the new owners met the cost of renovation of the architecturally valuable building and continued to live in the area for two years. Young local professionals, who could not afford to buy a house, were given priority. The average cost for the 40 participating households was US$183,000 and the work has acted as a trigger for local regeneration. Other cities are now using the same approach.
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