Newburgh Heights hoping to attract new homeowners by paying off student loans

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NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, Ohio -- The village of Newburgh Heights has a population of  over 2,000.

It's a small town trying to transition into the future and the mayor says he knows just how to do it.

“Hey, what if we pay off half your student loans?” said Mayor Trevor Elkins.

Elkins is set to introduce legislation that would help pay off new homeowners' student loans, up to $50,000.

“The stipulations are, you have to purchase the home after you've graduated from a four-year accredited college; the home has to be valued at $50,000 or more -- single family, and it has to be an arm's-length transaction so it can’t be a short sale or sheriff’s sale or something like that,” said Elkins.

Residents who live in Newburgh Heights for 10 years will get an 80% payout and after 15 years, the full amount.

“It’s a huge benefit for us. We have lost population for 40 years now. We have a lot of vacant lots; we have a lot of vacant lots that are ripe for new homes to be built and constructed,” said Elkins.

City council will vote Tuesday on the mayor’s proposed student loan assistance program.

So, where will the city get the money to pay off the loans?

“We don’t pay that out on day one. Over a 10-year period, we are putting a thousand dollars in the bank. The average college graduate will make $50,000. We have a local income tax. They will pay that right back into the economy,” said Elkins.

Mayor Elkins said he believes this is a first in Ohio and perhaps the nation.

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