Sometimes the call of a new adventure – or simply a chance at relocating your job to a new place – can be too tempting to resist. If you’ve been thinking about packing it in to start over again, these places will make it easier by paying you to move there.
A sun-dappled fantasy island of sweeping beaches, clear waters and just one village, the Greek island of Antikythera is keen to enhance its population. Despite its beauty and close proximity to Crete, only 40 permanent residents live here. So in order to reverse its declining fortunes, a repopulation campaign was launched earlier in the hope of luring new families. Those who are selected receive a house, a small patch of land and a monthly cheque of €500 for the first three years of residence. While it may sound too good to be true, the initiative has already attracted four families from Athens this year, which caused the island’s only schoolhouse to finally reopen its doors after years of inactivity.
You’d be surprised that Vermont, with its lakes, forests and blushing fall colours, would need to lure residents with cash. But that’s exactly what it’s doing. The second-least populated state – after Wyoming – Vermont is trying to enhance its workforce with a relocation scheme that launched in January of this year. Operating on a first-come, first-served basis, successful applicants are eligible to receive up to $5000 annually for two years of living there in order to cover the costs of relocation. According to the Remote Worker Grant Program applicants will still retain their employment with an out-of-state job.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Like Vermont, Oklahoma has a population problem but it appears to be a notable issue in Tulsa. Oklahoma’s second city is looking for remote workers to pack up and move there with the Tulsa Remote program. If you apply and make the cut, you’ll receive a payment of $10,000 to get you on your feet. You’ll also get a desk at 36 Degrees North, a co-working space in Downtown Tulsa, as well as a free housing stipend. The 2019 scheme is already full but applications are open for 2020.
Candela in Puglia used to be referred to as “Little Naples,” due to its crowded and animated streets. Not so long ago, the 1990s in fact, the town was home to 8000 residents. Today, that number is closer to 2700. Its maze of cobbled streets are quiet and the rolling hills of pristine forests that surround it echo with silence. Nicola Gatta, the mayor, wants to revive Candela by offering up to €2000 to people who are willing to relocate: €800 for singles, €1200 for couples, €1500 to €1800 for three-member families and €2000 for families of four to five people. To be eligible, you must take up residency in Candela, rent a house and have a job with a salary of at least €7500 per year.
The Chilean government is transforming its capital Santiago into a tech hub by offering entrepreneurs $40,000 to move there and launch their business. The program, called Start-Up Chile, was launched in 2010. It offers two programs, one for startups with female founders and another for startups less than three-years-old. Those who are selected into the program are granted year-long work visas, as well as a complementary co-working space and a network of contacts. Squeezed between the Andes and the Pacific and boasting a strong and stable economy, Santiago is a pretty attractive place to live and work. This year’s program attracted entrepreneurs from 12 different countries. Applications for next year open in December.
The small town of Sambuca di Sicilia, about an hour’s drive from Sicily’s capital Palermo, is selling homes for less than the price of an espresso. In 2016, it was named the most beautiful town in Italy but that doesn’t appear to be enough reason to keep residents there. Its population of 6000 is in rapid decline as residents move to bigger cities. Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca’s deputy mayor and tourist councillor, is trying to prevent the town from going under by putting vacant homes on the market for €1. There is a catch, though – new owners must commit to refurbishing their property within three years, at a cost starting from €15,000 (the homes are pretty run down) and will need a €5000 security deposit, which will be returned once the renovation is complete.
Maine isn’t paying people to move there exactly. What it’s doing instead is offering a tax relief on student debts. The northeastern state has one of the oldest populations in the US so in order to attract a younger workforce, its providing tax credits to recent graduates who are happy to relocate there. If you move to Maine, whatever money you spend on your student loans each year is subtracted from your state income taxes. So, if you paid $2000 of your student loan debt that year and owe the state $2500 in tax, you will only have to pay $500 in taxes. To sweeten the deal even further, those who studied in STEM programs – science, technology, engineering and math – could receive money back from the government if they pay more off their loan than their taxes.