- A number of places across the US are trying to lure movers with incentives amid the pandemic.
- Insider rounded up places in the US that will pay you to live there.
- Requirements — such as full-time residency or real-estate purchase — vary depending on the place.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, many have found that remote work is primed to carry on, too.
In an attempt to lure some of those out-of-state remote workers, a number of places across the US are offering new residents big incentives, like cash or free land. Just consider Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is offering $10,000 toward a down payment on a home, or Claremont, Minnesota, which is offering free residential lots.
Insider rounded up 11 places in the US that are currently dishing out perks to prospective residents. Keep reading to see the list.
A region in Arkansas is offering potential new residents $10,000 in cash.
The Northwest Arkansas Council recently rolled out a pilot program that offers remote workers $10,000 in cash to relocate. Consider Fayetteville, a city in the Ozarks where the University of Arkansas is based, or Bentonville, home to the headquarters of corporate giants Walmart and Sam’s Club.
The Council’s program offers the cash alongside a street or mountain bike or annual membership to an art or cultural institution.
To qualify, applicants must be over the age of 24 and have at least two years of work experience along with full-time employment. Applicants must currently reside outside of Arkansas and must be able to relocate to Arkansas within six months of acceptance.
Unlike some of the other programs on this list, the Northwest Arkansas plan does not require you to purchase a home.
Tucson, Arizona, is offering remote workers perks and services with worth about $7,500.
The University of Arizona campus is located in Tucson, the second-largest city in the state. A local economic development organization launched Remote Tucson during the pandemic to lure remote workers to the area.
The program offers relocators $1,500 toward moving costs, one year of free internet, free trials at local coworking spaces, membership to a local cultural institution, networking opportunities, and more.
Eligible applicants must be over 18 years of age, have full-time remote employment outside of the area, and be able to move to Tucson within six months.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, is offering remote workers a $10,000 grant to put toward housing.
Tulsa Remote, a program that started in 2018, is designed to draw new residents to the Oklahoma city. Since 2018, the program has aided more than 500 remote workers in relocating to Tulsa. And it has seen a 300% increase in interest amid the pandemic, program organizers told Insider in an email.
The program offers $10,000 toward purchasing or renting a home in Tulsa. The program also offers $500 travel reimbursements and a $150 Airbnb credit for applicants to get familiar with the area.
Insider recently interviewed four city folks from both coasts who made the move to Tulsa — and say it’s the best decision they ever made.
To qualify for the program, applicants must be over the age of 18, currently live outside Oklahoma, have a consistent stream of income and the ability to work remotely, and can promise to commit to moving to and living in Tulsa for at least one year.
Savannah, Georgia, is offering remote workers $2,000 toward moving expenses.
Savannah, Georgia, rolled out a program called the Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive in May 2020. The program offers up to $2,000 in reimbursement for moving fees to remote workers who have already lived in Chatham County for one month. They either need to show they’ve signed one-year lease or newly purchased a home.
A handful of cities in Alabama is offering remote workers who move to the area $10,000 cash to be paid out over the course of a year.
The Shoals in Alabama — a cluster of municipalities including Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia that straddle the banks of the Tennessee River — is offering remote workers $10,000 to move to the area. Located near the border with Tennessee and Mississippi, the four cities are just a couple hours from hubs like Memphis, Nashville, and Birmingham.
The program offers $2,500 up front for relocation costs, then an additional $2,500 six months after moving there, and finally $5,000 at the end of the first year of residency.
Eligible applicants must be over the age of 18 and able to move to the region within six months, be employed outside of the area, and have a minimum annual income of $52,000.
Topeka, Kansas, is offering potential new residents up to $15,000 to move there.
Kansas’ state capital, Topeka, is teaming up with employers to offer cash to those willing to move there.
Participants of the program, called Choose Topeka, can receive up to $15,000 if they purchase a home in Topeka and secure a job in the area. Remote workers with work outside of the area can earn up to $5,000 toward rental costs or $10,000 toward a home purchase.
As an added bonus, Jimmy John’s, the sandwich franchise, will throw in an extra $1,000 for anyone who moves within delivery range of one of its shops.
Oahu, Hawaii, is offering free airfare and discounted hotel rates to those looking to work from somewhere sunnier for a while.
Hawaii is banking on long-term tourism to revive its pandemic-era economy.
A new program called Movers and Shakas, which is funded by a number of local businesses and organizations, is offering to pay the airfare of anyone looking to work remotely from Oahu and volunteer with a local nonprofit. Other perks for participants include discounted hotel stays and networking opportunities.
The first recipients of the flight funds were already selected — after there were 90,000 applications for 50 spots. There will be a second iteration of the program. Sign up for the program’s newsletter for updates.
Applicants must be remote workers over the age of 18 who can commit to spending at least 30 consecutive days in Hawaii and are willing to participate in a community service activity like youth mentoring.
The Hawaii program differs from other programs in that it doesn’t require a semi-permanent or permanent commitment to the area.
Southwest Michigan is offering remote workers$15,000 toward a down payment on a home, along with other perks.
A string of ZIP codes in southwest Michigan, right on Lake Michigan, is looking to entice people decamping from nearby Chicago or beyond with up to $15,000 to put toward a home purchase and over $5,000 in additional perks. Those extras include memberships to athletic clubs, driving ranges, a coworking spaces, and more.
The first round of the program — called Move to Michigan — is already full, but applicants for the next iteration must be willing to purchase a $200,000 home in southwest Michigan. They must also be willing to become a full-time Michigander by securing a Michigan driver’s license and claiming it as a primary residence. Applicants must also have current full-time, remote employment outside of Michigan. Sign up for the program’s newsletter for updates.
Manilla, Iowa, is offering free plots of land to anyone who will build homes on them.
Manilla — a small city in western Iowa — is offering free lots of land to anyone looking to build a single-family home. Twelve homes have already been built, and there are 16 additional lots up for grabs.
Claremont, Minnesota, is also offering free residential plots of land to those with home-building means and plans.
The Claremont House Lot Program is giving away single-family lots for free to families of two with a gross income of $91,800 or less. Those with a higher gross income would need to pay $9,500 for their lot. There are 11 lots available.
Even if securing the lot seems like a breeze, there are a number of things to keep in mind while building a home in Claremont, a town of just about 500 people about 80 miles south of Minneapolis. Homes cannot have less than 930 livable square feet; they must have minimal landscaping and a double-stall garage.
Most importantly, construction must be completed with 18 months or the property will be reverted back to the local government.
Lincoln, Kansas, is another city offering free lots for single-family home construction.
Lincoln, a city smack in the middle of Kansas, is offering free lots to people who want to build a single-family home in a recently created subdivision. The free lots in Lincoln range from around 14,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet. The 21 lots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Leanna Garfield contributed to a previous version of this article.
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