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A city will pay me to live there? How is that possible, you may ask. Well, it’s true. There are cities in the U.S. that will actually pay you to live there. Might they always be your first choice for where you would live? Maybe, and maybe not. But getting paid to move and live in a community, if even for a short while, can be quite an adventure, save you a ton of money and might even surprise you with how much you enjoy living in that city.

Find out now: How much house can I afford?

Here are 3 U.S. cities and one state that will pay you just for living there:

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan has seen its fair share of rough times over the past few decades. Abandoned neighborhoods are scattered throughout the city. While this may seem like a depressing prospect for some, it can be seen as a great challenge for others. Challenge Detroit is a program managed by the City of Detroit to encourage new career seekers and entrepreneurs to move into the city. The program pays the chosen applicants to move to the city to work with businesses and non-profits while making connections with the community. The hope is that the fresh new talent will stay within the city and help bring it back to life.

Are You Ready to Be an Entrepreneur?


do you get paid to live in alaska

It’s not just certain cities in Alaska that will pay you to live there, it’s the whole state. The state of Alaska developed the Permanent Fund Dividend in 1976 and started paying money out to residents of Alaska in 1980. This essentially pays people to permanently live there. Investment earnings on Alaskan mineral royalties are paid out to Alaska residents.

It is an annual payment. The amount varies every year but in 2015 637,014 residents got $2,072 each. Since 1988, the payment has been higher than $800. The state feels that it is an investment in their current population as well investing in future generations in hopes that they stay in Alaska. To be eligible for the dividend, you need to have lived in Alaska for one year, not be a convicted felon and be present in Alaska for at least 190 days in a calendar year.

This financial incentive can help make up for the higher cost of living that many pay in Alaska. It does vary from year to year so it’s a good idea to not rely on it as part of your budget. But it can be helpful for making other financial goals – like establishing an emergency fund, saving for a home down payment or setting aside money for retirement.

Related Article: What Is the True Cost of Living in Alaska?

Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga, Tennessee is quickly becoming a hub for young ‘geeks’ who are willing to relocate. The city was recently named a GigCity, which means that Chattanooga is the first city in the Western Hemisphere to have gigabit per second fiber Internet accessible to the entire city grid. With this designation, Chattanooga has created GeekMove, which is an incentive program designed to financially assist computer developers who are interested in relocating to newly revitalized communities.

3 Places to Live If You’re a Tech Guru (Besides Silicon Valley)

Niagara Falls, NY

do you get paid to live in alaska

Well known for its majestic waterfalls, Niagara Falls is trying to attract a younger population. Niagara’s Community Development program is offering a limited number of newly graduated college students the incentive of student loan repayment up to $7,000 with a program called Live NF. The city is aiming at developing its downtown area into a more attractive place for young transplants to live.

Find out now: What neighborhood is right for me?

Photo Credit: flickr; ©iStock.com/ziss; ©iStock.com/Tony Tremblay

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Tierna Unruh-Enos Tierna Unruh-Enos is a communications and marketing specialist in Albuquerque. A native of New Mexico, Tierna holds an MA in Journalism from Prescott College in Prescott, AZ. She is currently working as the marketing and communications director for the Cultural Services Department for the City of Albuquerque. She is also a mother, a freelance writer and lover of all things green chile (there may be a few exceptions!).


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