Sick of high rent and commuter traffic? Get paid to move to Tulsa


Tulsa hopes promises of lower traffic congestion and a stipend of cash will motivate workers to move on in.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re in the tech industry but can’t afford to live in Silicon Valley or Manhattan anymore, why not be an employed worker in a much cheaper and less-congested area like Oklahoma?

The Tulsa-based philanthropic organization George Kaiser Family Foundation is hoping to entice techies to relocate to the midwest via large housing stipends, free office space and cold, hard cash.

The program named Tulsa Remote offers remote workers a housing stipend for a fully-furnished apartment, a desk at a local co-working space and $10,000 in cash for relocation expenses if they agree to work in the Oklahoma city for a year.

To be considered eligible for the Tulsa Remote program, applicants must be able to move to Tulsa within six months; have full-time remote employment or are self-employed outside of Tulsa county; be 18 years old or older; and be legally able to work in the US.

The process includes an online application, a video interview and an in-person Tulsa visit to seal the deal. 

The application asks potential candidates questions about their reasons for wanting to leave where they currently live, how much they travel for work, proof of where they work remotely, their educational background and social media handles. 

The application also tries to gauge the candidates’ personalities by asking if they would agree with the statements, “I highly value being part of a tight-knit community in the city I call home,” and “Ease of living (low traffic, affordable housing) is a high priority at this point in my life.”

Tulsa Remote is “looking for people that will do more than bring their job here and live here; folks that would like to come to a city of our size and personality, and invest themselves in trying to make a real go for it beyond just the year,” Ken Levit, George Kaiser Family Foundation executive director, told City Lab blog on Friday.

Tulsa’s new remote worker program has already attracted more than 1,800 applicants in its first two days, according to KTUL TV news on Thursday. However, only 20 to 25 applicants will be accepted for the program.

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