Around the world there are cities struggling with declining population, downturn in economic activity, and a shortage of a young creative class. The United States is home to many of these types of struggling municipalities, which has led some cities to get a little creative and possibly a little crazy. The latest strategy to attract young recent university graduates – if you choose to live there the city will pay some of your student loans.
Thats right. The city of Niagara Falls is most famous for its natural wonder, but it is also home to an aging population and a struggling economy. It is now offering to pay $3,500 per year on your student loans if you agree to live in a specific neighborhood which is said to be quite near to the falls. The city needs such people not only to keep their population young and interesting, but to also keep receiving federal funds that are tied to the average age of its residents in specific parts of town. Meanwhile city officials know full well that one of the biggest burdens on recent graduates and young couples looking to settle down is student debt, which is why they’re targeting this issue.
In its inaugural year, the city hopes the program will attract about 20 applicants. Many of them are expected to be from within the region. But if it works, they hope to take it national and appeal to young people across the country to come live in Niagara Falls. If it works, cities all over the world that are in a similar state, may be inspired to start offering some student loan help.
Photo: gardener41 / flickr