Are you feeling you need a change of scenery, or perhaps you have a desire to move to a less-expensive town? If you’re budget-conscious, more and more cities in America will actually pay you to move there.
Some of these programs require you to buy a house or get a state driver’s license, but others require almost no hoops being jumped through at all.
After the coronavirus pandemic struck cities across the country, many realized that perhaps they don’t need to pay $4,000 every month for a NYC apartment or California townhome if they’re going to be working from home.
Most of the following programs are trying to attract workers who have left their offices and set up desks in their own homes, knowing that the shift may be permanent.
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa Remote is a unique recruitment initiative aimed at attracting talented individuals to the Art deco city. With a $10,000 grant to inspire you to move, the initiative asks that you live in their city for one year, confident you’ll want to stay longer at the end.
The ideal candidate for Tulsa Remote is a digital nomad or remote worker with the flexibility to work anywhere—who is looking for a real community to call home. Along with receiving $10,000, distributed over the course of a year, the program is offering you space in a co-working center, help finding housing, and regular community-building opportunities.
Read more in the FAQs and apply if you’d like to move to where the wind goes sweeping down the plains.
2. Ozarks, Arkansas
“One of the best costs of living, plentiful outdoor lifestyle perks, nationally ranked arts, culture, and cuisine scenes, and per capita income that’s 14% higher than the national average.”
That’s what the Northwest Arkansas Council website boasts, saying the region offers “a unique opportunity to create balance for those eager to move from congested and expensive larger cities and suburbs.”
The counties of Benton and Washington will offer people working remote, full-time jobs— especially top-talent entrepreneurs and those in STEM fields—$10,000 and either a street or mountain bike to take advantage of the well-established biking infrastructure in Ozarks—or an annual membership to one of their “world-class” arts and cultural institutions.
Applications can be done through their website, and you must be able to move into the state within six months.
3. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is a beautiful place, and they are looking to incentivize remote tech workers to move to the Chatham County area—provided they have three-years of verifiable work experience, and that they secure at minimum a one-year lease or purchase property.
Moving expenses will be covered with $2,000 after 30 days of residency, and the position can be remote or in-office. Applications can be done here.
P.S. The city’s cost of living is relatively low—beating out other regional metropolises like Nashville and Atlanta.
4. Topeka, Kansas
The Choose Topeka Initiative will help workers looking to move to Topeka—who have arrangements to work inside the city—with $10,000 in moving expenses for those looking to rent, and $15,000 for those looking to buy a home.
The incentives kick in after a year of residency. Remote workers will need a job outside the county, and will receive only $5,000 in assistance to rent, and $10,000 to buy a home.
“Choose Topeka was created with the intention of investing in employees to live and work in Topeka & Shawnee County, so that we may foster an ‘intentional community,’ one of community support builders,” said Barbara Stapleton, VP of Business Retention & Talent Initiatives at GO Topeka.
5. Hamilton, Ohio
The Talent Attraction Program of Hamilton, Ohio is offering “reverse scholarships” to recent college grads in the STEM fields that will help pay off student loan debt with $300 per month payments—up to $10,000 total.
They must demonstrate employment in the city or county, and plans to move there—with any moves out of the city or county forfeiting future payments.
6. Newton, Iowa
Newton, Iowa is offering a slightly different kind of incentive. Looking to improve the quality of the available housing inventory, The Newton Housing Initiative is offering cash to people looking to build a new home.
“The Newton Housing Initiative, approved by City Council in 2014, provided incentives to home builders, real estate developers, property owners, and homebuyers…” writes the initiative website.
For homes valued at $180,000 or more, applicants to the grant program receive a $10,000 cash incentive and the Get to Know Newton Welcome Package worth $2,500. Homes valued at anything less than $180,000 will garner $5,000 for the owners.
One of the most beautiful places on Earth, the state of Alaska won’t pay you to move there necessarily, but there is a state-fund financed by mineral extraction sales which pays a dividend to workers who choose to remain in the state.
According to Fox Business, the “exact amount of the payment varies from year to year. This year the payment is $992. Last year it was $1,606. The highest dividend to date was $2,072 in 2015.”
“In order to be eligible for the dividend, one must be a state resident for the entire prior calendar year, intend to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely, and not have been sentenced on a felony conviction in the year prior, among other requirements,” writes Fox.