It’s not Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, or Seattle, but Tulsa wants you to want to live there.
And the Oklahoma city is willing to buy your love. It’s offering $10,000 to people to move there. This is year two of the Tulsa Remote program, which also offers its newly lured residents free co-working space, housing leads, and invitations to local events.
Last year brought more than 10,000 applications from over 150 countries and all 50 states, according to the organization. Close to 100 were accepted. And this year, 250 will get a nod from the hometown of celebrities such as Cornel West and Bill Hader.
“Participants from this year blew away our expectations,” Tulsa Remote executive director Aaron Bolzle said in a statement. “By more than doubling the number of participants this year, we can further our mission of attracting talented individuals from diverse backgrounds to Tulsa and connecting them to the incredible existing community.”
To be eligible for the program, which is funded by George Kaiser Family Foundation, you must be able to move to Tulsa within six months, have a full-time remote job or self-employment outside Oklahoma, and be over age 18 and eligible to work in the United States. If you’re eligible, you can start the application process through the Tulsa Remote website.
The northeast Oklahoma city’s attempt to attract people there isn’t unique. Vermont; Maine; Hamilton, Ohio; the Greek island Antikythera; Albinen, Switzerland; and Candela, Italy, are also willing to shell out big bucks for new residential blood. (Rumors in 2016 about Kaitangata, New Zealand, offering a similar deal caused an international sensation, but were untrue.)
Other U.S. cities offer new transplants incentives, like free land for building new homes, construction rebates, and student-loan repayment assistance.
Fueling this relocation race is the increasing number of people who telecommute to their jobs—and the growing acceptability of that lifestyle. Gone are the days of swinging one’s briefcase on the way to the commuter train station or the car parked in the driveway to head downtown or to a suburban office park for a 9-to-5 job.
More than 25% of companies let their employees telecommute full-time, according to research released earlier this year by the Society for Human Resource Management.