updated: 9/6/2011 12:36:45 PM
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says the city's new home-buying incentive program will boost the economy by keeping more local wages in the community. He says the city is losing $850 million in money spent by people who work in Kokomo, but live in other communities. Goodnight says Kokomo is also losing out on "human capital" because those workers aren't volunteering in the community.
Goodnight says people who work in Howard County but live elsewhere are likely using services where they live. Because of that, he says Kokomo loses out on money for businesses ranging from mechanics to hairdressers. He says he knows the new incentive program won't solve the issue overnight, but says it is a step in the right direction.
September 6, 2011
Indiana cities are often in competition to attract new businesses to their communities. The City of Kokomo, Indiana has developed an incentive program it hopes will attract residents of nearby communities to purchase a house in Kokomo.
The city has enlisted the help of its major employers to draw employees who work in Kokomo, yet live elsewhere, to consider purchasing a home there.
The Kokomo Homeownership Investment Program provides homebuyers with incentives. Among those is a $5,000 reimbursement for exterior improvements on a newly purchased home. In addition a local moving company is offering a ten percent discount when moving a new resident or family to Kokomo.
Kokomo’s largest employers support the program and are promoting it to their workforce. Companies such as Chrysler, Delphi Electronics and Safety, and Haynes International were helped in recent years with municipal loans or abatements, and now these companies are returning the favor by touting Kokomo’s relocation incentives and benefits of living in the community in which they work.
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight explains the economic data that inspired the program, “Twenty percent of our workforce lives outside of our community. The problem is compounded by the fact that this 20 percent earns 30 percent of the income generated here. We’ve been investing our city’s limited financial resources in quality of life projects. Now we are stepping up the campaign to attract our workforce to also live here.”
More Kokomo Homeownership Investment Program details can be found at www.trykokomo.org.
Source: City of Kokomo