Original Published on Aug 10, 2022 at 10:25

By Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

CORNWALL – In an effort to market the region as a more affordable area to move to, SDG Counties has launched a contest where the winner will receive a housing subsidy for up to one year.  

Until November 1, the “Date My County” campaign seeks young families and professionals who want to relocate to SDG. 

“It’s a chance for individuals who are sick of the frustrations of big-city life to truly discover the culture, beauty, and vastness of our area,” said Tara Kirkpatrick, manager of economic development for SDG Counties. “SDG Counties is located within a one-hour drive of metropolitan hubs in Ottawa, Montreal and New York State, but our County is far removed from the hectic life most city dwellers face.”

Citing housing costs that are two-thirds that of the national average, and a lack of traffic congestion of the city, the goal of the contest is to showcase what the region has to offer others. 

“This is a great opportunity for a young family looking to make a change,” said SDG Counties Warden Carma Williams. “It’s a place that draws you in. It’s a place where everyone is welcome and where communities are still active. It’s a place that is growing and evolving, but where our values remain important to us.”

To enter, applicants must send a one-minute video and a brief 50-word essay saying why they would make a great new resident for SDG Counties.

If selected, the winner will have to write about their experiences living in SDG twice-per-month on the Counties’ social media pages. In exchange, the winner will receive up to $1,500 per month in accommodation subsidy for up to 12 months. 

The subsidy can go towards short-term rental accommodations, a rental unit, or a house purchase. Money will be given to the winner once proof of monthly accommodation cost is provided. The winner is responsible for finding their new residence in the Counties and must agree to reside there for 12 months.

Current residents in SDG Counties and Cornwall are ineligible to apply for the contest. 

“We hope you can join us in becoming a part of this community,” Williams said. 

The “Date My County” contest was first pitched to SDG Counties Council in early 2020 and is patterned off similar travel writing in exchange for accommodation promotions that has been successful in up-and-coming tourist destinations around the globe.

The contest runs until November 1. Those interested in applying can do so at the website datemycounty.ca.

This item reprinted with permission from The Leader, Morrisburg, Ontario