So you’re talking to a dude at a bar. In Brooklyn, obv. And he’s like “someday I’d like to live in the country and farm” and then gets this glazed, starry-eyed look. Land! A real garden! Sunrises! Not picking up dog shit! No galloping minotaur dropping cannonballs in the apartment above you! But hooowwwwww?

Well, small towns are ON IT. Recognizing the $1 trillion reality of student debt and the fact that youth are fleeing to cities, they decided to do something – capitalize on your student debt by paying you off to live with them. Cool?

According to ABCNews, these small towns “will attempt to lure young professionals to live in his city’s beleaguered downtown, which for decades has been hemorrhaging residents – young ones especially.”

Seth Piccirillo, the man with the plan, is the director of development for Niagara Falls, NY, a town that once boasted 100,000 people but has dwindled to less than half of that. With the new plan, graduates of a 2- or 4-year degree can apply for a $3,500 yearly grant. It includes graduate degrees, but the grant itself is only good for two years.

Reports say that the city will back the idea with $200,000, with the first applications arriving soon. “The graduating class of 2013 will be our first real swing at it,” said Piccirillo.

In order to qualify, the applicants would “have to rent an apartment or buy a home within a designated downtown area.”

“We’re not talking city-wide. We’re taking acres,” said Piccirillo. “There’s no doubt in my mind that getting even 100 to 150 people could revitalize the neighborhood.”

Acres you say? I tried to check Craigslist for current prices on apartments. But most of the listings are for places like Costa Rica and Florida, which doesn’t exactly give me good vibes about people wanting to live there. But it’s so romaaantic.

(Photo: Brainege/Flickr)