Jayhawks Given Free Nests! This town's been shattered, mayor declares. Rutgers Prof sez: "It'll never work!"


Reader Ari Spanier sends in this story about a shrinking Kansas town offering free lots to people willing to build a house and join the party. You may recall Ron Bailey's suggestion for "reverse homesteading" a while back. Since this plan involves building up a bedroom community rather than a "family farm," I'm not sure whether this is a clever variation on Ron's idea or the exact opposite of it. But after getting worked in my efforts to buy a house in California, I'm about ready to take the deal. Thanks for the tip, Ari!

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  1. There must be plenty of cheap houses out there in all those little towns in the heartland that have seen their young people run off to the cities. Like always, the problem in living in places like that is how the hell do you make any money?

  2. I used to live in Hays, which is about 90 minutes from Salina on I-70. If you don’t work in an ag-based industry or an industry that supports agriculture, there isn’t much for you to do.
    I live in Denver now and wouldn’t go back to that part of the country even for free land.

  3. This sounds like a great deal for retired folks who are willing to get away from it all.

    What would be interesting to me is a follow-up article in five years to see how the plan worked.

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