Camden is joining a few other American cities in paying people to move to their city. Some meds & eds organizations in Camden– a few hospitals, the universities– are offering incentived up to $2,500 to people if they will move to Camden City. The offer is to those who work for those organizations to live and work in the same area. Mayor Dana Redd said, “Affordable, attractive, housing in safe neighborhoods is a critical component of what is needed to revitalize our city.”
The idea is to lure the middle class into the city core. It’s an interesting strategy to increase a middle class presence in urban areas. Whether on the national or city level, a strong middle class is always important, as those are the main spenders and consumers of an economy. Yet for them to move to an urban area, its best to have naturally occurring incentives instead of a cash payout. Things like safe streets, good public education, entertainment, things to do. Camden still doesn’t have that. I am a middle class person living in Camden because it is a place of great need and I can be of help, because it has great people and interesting culture. Not because its particularly safe.