Niagara Falls Offers to Repay Some Loan Debt for Recent Graduates
Posted by: KC Orcutt
Published on: June 11th, 2012 at 2:00 PM
If someone offered to pay off your college loan, on the condition that you had to live in their town for two years, would you do it?
That’s the question that the city of Niagara Falls is starting to ask. The city is proposing a new idea to attract young people to it’s downtown area.
As reported on the Buffalo News, the city will offer to pay recent student loan debt of recent graduates for two years if they relocate to a specific neighborhood, which is blocks from the falls.
“They have a need: to pay their loans. We have a need: We don’t have enough of them. So we said, ‘How can we combine the two?’” Community Development Director Seth A. Piccirillo told the Buffalo News. “We want to do something that isn’t being done somewhere else.”
The town wants to halt population decreases while attracting retailers downtown and create some culture that is dwindling. If the city’s population dips below 50,000, then they would lose its status in some federal programs after the next U.S. census.
Leaders state that attracting young people to the area would help the city fast-track the revitalization of key downtown areas.
The city will pay for $3,500 each year for two years. If you have received a two-year or four-year degree within the past two years, or are in graduate school, you are eligible to apply.
The graduates would have to rent a market-rate apartment, or buy a home, within the targeted area and have to meet all rent or mortgage commitments during the first year.
The city is looking for 20 applicants for the first round of the program and will be paid with $200,000 from a city Urban Renewal Agency account.
What do you think about this idea? Do you think you would do it? Is $3,5000 a year enough of an inceptive to pack up and move? Do you think more small towns would benefit from adapting this idea?