One State Wants More Latino Residents

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

( – A city in Kansas has been trying to incentivize people to relocate there by offering economic benefits to new workers and residents.

Topeka, Kansas, has put forward an incentive program called Choose Topeka. It allows people to receive $15,000 if they purchase or rent a home in the city and are employed by a local business that is a program partner and offers a salary above $50,000 per year. All qualifying applicants need to have legal permission to work in the country. This means that while immigrant families can benefit from the program, undocumented immigrants are not able to take advantage of this incentive.

Erick Bovell, from Venezuela, moved to the city around two years ago and received a $10,000 incentive from the city after proving he had purchased a home. The program is funded through partner businesses and the city, many of which employ Latino workers. Bovell has stated that he loves the quiet city that does not have heavy traffic.

The program was originally launched in 2019 to help support the city’s economic development.

Ernesto de la Rosa, Topeka’s chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer, has noted that the city relies on immigrant labor. The program has thus far incentivized almost 100 families and individuals to relocate to Topeka. The program was recently expanded to support veterans, “boomerang” residents, and Washburn University graduates.

The city has also introduced an incentive program for those looking to start or grow their existing business. The grants offered as part of this program can cover up to 50 percent of the starting expenses for a business.

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