People are moving to bigger cities, making the situation even worse. Like in a vicious cycle, the market value of houses is only going up and fewer jobs are available. That leaves smaller towns at disadvantage and at risk of slowly disappearing. Locals in some places are not staying idle. They are coming up with creative ways to get former residents back or to welcome new ones.
The government launched a program, Start-up Chile, which provides up to CL$60 million ($90,000) in equity free funding across their programs and over $100,000 of perks as a participant. The country is looking to become the business hub of South America.
Detroit has been in a lot of trouble over the last several years. The city even filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013. Many residents have left; some neighborhoods have been abandoned. But, as you know, when one door closes another one opens. Local official created an opportunity with the Challenge Detroit program. It encourages new career seekers and entrepreneurs to move to Detroit by paying them to live, work, play, give, and lead in and around the greater Detroit area for one year.
Work and housing are offered to people willing to move so far away—off the coast of Tasmania. The job is to take care of and live in the lighthouse and maintain the land and housing on the 460-acre isle. Observing the sea and swell conditions are also part of the responsibilities. The weather on the island is windy all the time and it’s cold for the most part.
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The money people are paid comes in the form of cash rebate for new home construction. This small town has a population or just about 1,000 people. The Harmony Economic Development Authority (EDA) offers a cash rebate between $5,000 and $12,000 to people who build a home. Rebate amounts will be based on the final estimated market value of the new house.
Considering Alaska’s reputation of very cold and dark winters, periods during which the sun doesn’t set and lots of barren land, it’s no surprise that local officials have resorted to paying people to move there. Newcomers can take advantage of the Alaska Permanent Fund, which takes money earned from the state’s oil reserves to give back to the community. Alaskans get almost $2,000.
A town, no matter how small, with a population of about 750 will definitely want to attract more newcomers permanently. People won’t get cash but will get other financial benefits. They comes in the form of a home and land that are together worth no more than NZ$230,000. Jobs are also readily available, guaranteed. More than 1,000 need to be filled.
The island is one of the most remote on Earth. About 60 people live there and they want more company. Newcomers will get land, totally free. You show up and you get the land. In 2015 only one person made the most of the opportunity. Probably because living there will be like being cast away. There is only one store and you’ll have to order anything you need from the mainland, which is 3,000 miles away, every three months.
This is a popular place with tourists but not so much with people who are looking for a permanent home. One way the city is trying to make folks reconsider is by giving those with student loans about $7,000 to pay it off if they live in Niagara Falls for two years. You’ll have to live in a specific neighborhood though.
Baltimore has been losing local residents to more prosperous cities for decades. It’s trying to win people back with the Buying Into Baltimore program. People get $5,000 toward the purchase of a home in the city. Every year, there are two events: A spring/summer event and a fall/winter event. Another incentive is the Vacants to Value. It gives people up to $10,000 to purchase a formerly vacant, renovated house.
The village has come up with a very intriguing way of luring people there. Locals are targeting single people, who will get paid to go on dates. Japanese citizens will get 100,000 yen as moving expenses, as well as some money every month for the first three years of residence. If you have a child while there, you won’t have to worry about giving birth and education expenses. Everyone also gets a free cow.
Chattanooga, one of the most underrated cities in the country, is the first city in the Western Hemisphere to offer 10-gigabit-per-second fiber internet service to all residents and businesses. Called “GigCity,” it lures young entrepreneurs who want to create their own startups. GeekMove was a 2011 incentive program designed to financially assist computer developers interested in relocating there. It no longer exists, but it did its job. The city continues to grow and has many up and coming startups looking for geek talent.
This is where you should move if you like golf. There is a possibility for a free lot at the Arrowhead Meadows, a 9-hole golf course. It is nestled in the Medicine Creek Valley, with the Medicine Creek meandering throughout the course. The trick is that you have to build the home.
It’s good to be a graduate student in Saskatchewan. They are reimbursed up to C$20,000. The goal is to encourage more people to go to school there, which should result in boosting the local economy. The rebate is paid out over seven years, provided you file your taxes in Saskatchewan. It is applied to reduce the amount of income tax residents owe.
As is the case with most cities who try to lure people there, New Haven is experimenting with home ownership incentives. People will get an interest-free, $10,000 assistantship to help cover closing costs or a down-payment on a home. It’s also 100 percent forgivable if the owners live there for five or more years. Make it eco-friendly and you’ll get up to $30,000. The city will cover up to full tuition to a Connecticut public college for any resident that graduates from a New Haven public school.
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Lincoln, for example, is investing in the future offering free home sites in a completely new subdivision. This is great especially for people who like the rural kind of life. Marquette, a small town of about 630 people, offers free building lots to families who want to live in “the heart of America.” Also, Rural Opportunity Zones are 77 counties that offer financial incentives to new full-time residents such as income tax waivers for up to five years and student loan repayments up to $15,000.