Looking for a change of scenery and an affordable place to rest your head? You may want to pack it up and head for Kaitangata, New Zealand. The Guardian reports that officials in the 800-person town are offering low-priced home and land packages to those willing to live and work in the area.
According to Bryan Cadogan, mayor of the Clutha district, where Kaitangata is located, there are more than 1000 jobs that have yet to be filled because there are not enough residents to fill them. Workers are currently bused in to work at the dairy processing and freezing works plants, but the town has decided that in order to fill its empty space and jobs, it has to sweeten the deal.
The officials are offering up housing packages for NZ$230,000 (about $165,000 in U.S. dollars) to applicants who live and work in the area. The town has created a proposal packet [PDF] that includes the cost and floorplans to build a three-bedroom home, statistics about the town and its industries and schools, and a list of some of the amenities and attractions in Kaitangata, including various recreational clubs, a skate park, and community groups.
"When I was unemployed and had a family to feed, the Clutha gave me a chance, and now we want to offer that opportunity to other Kiwi families who might be struggling," Cadogan said. Kaitangata dairy farmer Evan Dick told The Guardian that "the housing crisis in New Zealand has made the Kiwi dream unattainable for many people, but in Kaitangata the Kiwi dream is still a reality."
Before making plans to move to New Zealand, the mayor suggests that you check your immigration status via a link on the Clutha district website. If you are found eligible, then you can contact the district's economic development agency to learn more about how to proceed.
But you'll have to act fast. Since news of the deal spread, the town has received thousands of inquiries—many from big land investors—and has had to put sales on hold for a week, according to Stuff.
"At the end of the day, people have to realize that it's only a small town," Dick said. "We don't want hundreds of people in here. If we got 30 or 40 new houses built in our town, that would be a dream come true."
[h/t The Guardian]