The coronavirus pandemic has seen many Americans relocating out of crowded cities into more open places.
Even as a vaccine grows nearer, it’s possible that many businesses will opt to allow some employees to continue working remotely in order to save money on expensive office space, so more Americans may find they have new freedom in where they choose to live after the pandemic is finally over.
But how to choose where to live? Some cities that are looking to grow are now willing to incentivize outsiders to move.
Some of these programs have proven so popular that they’ve had to stop taking applications. Vermont’s New Worker Relocation Grant Program said in October that it was “fully subscribed” and waiting to see if state lawmakers would add more funding in January.
Still, there are other cities and states willing to pay you. Here’s a look at them and what they’ve got to offer.
The Tulsa Remote program is offering new residents $10,000 and a membership at a co-working space.
The program intends to attract “a diverse group of talented professionals across multiple industries” to the city. The ideal applicant has a full-time job but can work from anywhere.
To be eligible, individuals must be 18 or older, live outside Oklahoma, be able to work remotely and be able to move to Tulsa within six months. They also must be legally able to work in the U.S.
The Northwest Arkansas Council is offering remote workers $10,000 plus a bicycle to move to Benton and Washington counties.
The council has $1 million to offer new residents. It aims to attract science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals to the area in order to “build a richer long-term talent pipeline” to support the region’s economy.
To be eligible, future residents must be at least 24 years old, have at least two years of work experience, be employed full-time, live outside Arkansas and be able to relocate there within six months. They also need to be U.S. citizens or legally able to work in the U.S. Only one grant is available per household.
The Savannah Economic Development Authority is offering to pay tech workers up to $2,000 in moving expenses if they relocate to Chatham County.
The effort is aimed at “boosting the region’s technology industry,” which already boasts employers in health care, aerospace and advanced manufacturing.
Applicants need to have at least three years of experience and move to the area with either a year lease or property purchase and live there for a month before applying for the money. They will also need to provide receipts and have a Georgia driver’s license.
The Choose Topeka program is offering as much as $15,000 to new residents of Shawnee County.
The program matches employer funds to pay $10,000 to new residents who are renting or $15,000 to new residents who purchase a home in the city in order to help it grow. For remote workers, the program will pay up to $5,000 to renters or $10,000 for a home purchase. Either way, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches will add $1,000 extra for those who move into one of its three local delivery areas.
To be eligible, new residents will need to be able to work in the U.S. and purchase or rent a home in the county for a full-time job. On-site workers will need matching funds from their employer, while remote workers will need to work for a company outside of the county.
The Newton Housing Initiative will pay homebuyers or property owners up to $10,000.
The program incentivizes expansion of the local housing inventory, both in quantity and quality. It will pay a homebuyer $5,000 for a new single-family home valued between $100,000 and $179,999.99, or $10,000 for buyers of new homes worth $180,000 or more.
To qualify, the value must be appraised and the construction must be fully completed and given a certificate of occupancy by the city.
The Hamilton Community Foundation offers a “reverse scholarship” worth up to $10,000 for recent graduates who move to the city.
The talent attraction program offers the scholarships to graduates of a science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics program who need help paying off their student loan debt.
The program is open to those who have graduated within the past seven years and plan to move to designated areas of the city. Candidates must have employment in Hamilton or Butler County and the program prefers people with a desire to give back to the community.
The Alaska Permanent Fund pays a dividend to state residents every year. While the program isn’t specifically aimed at attracting new residents, most people who move there will be eligible after a year.
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.