How did Tulsa, a Great Plains town historically known for oil and evangelicals (what up, Oral Roberts), become a hotspot for priced-out Californians and New Yorkers?
By giving them $10k to move there through a plan called Tulsa Remote.
You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma
Within 10 weeks of announcing the program last year, 10k people applied, according to Next City. Of the 10k applicants, 100 people were accepted, and 75 actually made the move. The George Kaiser Family Foundation, which is running the program for Tulsa, wants to pay another 250 to 300 applicants next year.
A majority of the people who moved to Tulsa are from California, Massachusetts, and New York. Madeline Kelley fled Williamsburg, picking Tulsa over Brooklyn. Megan Villanueva, who left Washington D.C., is now paying $1,650 for a 2-bedroom house near downtown. And she’s considering buying a home.
More love for the Midwest?
With high housing prices on the coasts and remote work becoming more common, should the Detroits and Cincinnatis of the world create comparable incentives? Vermont has tried a similar plan, offering $10k to a select few transplants. Maine has a student loan payback program.
Tulsa believes the investment is worth it. Kaiser program manager Aaron Bolzle says the newcomers offer social and economic opportunities to longtime residents.
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