10:05am

Wed September 26, 2012
Upstate Population

Wanted: 20 'urban pioneers' to live in Niagara Falls

Shrinking upstate New York tourist town seeks twenty 20-somethings to live and work near majestic waterfalls. Will pay your student debt.

Interested in being an "urban pioneer," as they're being called? Today is the first day to get an application into the city of Niagara Falls, N.Y. for a program the city hopes will reinvigorate its declining population.

The Innovation Trail's Daniel Robison reported back in June that city officials are offering to pay off student debt for recent college graduates as an incentive to move to the city.

Niagara Falls' population is hovering at just above 50,000. If it drops below that line, it will no longer be recognized as a city and will lose federal funding.

The city needs a boost, Robison wrote:

The idea is to bring vibrancy to the city’s quiet downtown that’s less than a mile from the falls. Currently, the urban core is a patchwork of empty lots, abandoned buildings and thinning neighborhoods.

Here's the math: Niagara Falls will use $200,000 from Urban Renewal funds to pay off $7,000 worth of debt for 20 recent college graduates if they agree to live in the city for two years.

Interested applicants can visit live-NF.com. Applications are due Nov. 16.