Pope Francis has cut housing perks for Vatican managers and cardinals in order to save the Church money.

Reuters and Vatican News reported March 1 that cardinals and other high-level positions at the Vatican will no longer be able to live in Vatican-connected apartments for free or at special prices.

The Vatican owns an extensive amount of real estate both in and outside Vatican walls. Apartments are principally managed by APSA (the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See).

The pope’s decision to drop housing benefits for upper management was communicated in a note from the Vatican’s new prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Maximino Caballero Ledo. The note, called a “rescriptum ex audientia,” was posted in the San Damaso Courtyard inside Vatican City, according to Reuters.

The rescript, which was posted in the Vatican following a Feb. 13 meeting with Pope Francis, says housing perks for high-level Vatican officials are being cut to meet the growing needs of the Church in an economic context “of particular gravity.”

Ledo’s note asks “everyone to make an extraordinary sacrifice to allocate more resources to the mission of the Holy See, also by increasing revenue from the management of the real estate patrimony.”

The decision comes two years after Pope Francis announced he was cutting cardinals’ salaries by 10% in March 2021.

The pay of other high-ranking officials and employees of the Holy See and Vatican City State was reduced by 8%, and some clergy and religious employed by the Vatican had their salaries lowered by 3%.

Automatic raises for some Vatican officials and employees were also suspended for a period of two years. That measure is due to expire March 31.

More in Vatican

According to the new housing decision, rental agreements already in course will be allowed to continue until their expiry.

New rental agreements will have to be offered at full price.

Only Pope Francis can grant exceptions to the new policy, the rescript says.

Cardinals, dicastery heads, presidents, secretaries, undersecretaries, managers, and auditors of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota are all affected by the new housing policy.

The Santa Marta guest house where Pope Francis lives, as well as two other Rome guest houses that regularly host priests serving at the Vatican, will also need to comply with the change.