On June 28, 2023, AARP announced it is investing $3.6 million in 310 Community Challenge grants for quick-action projects to help communities revitalize and become more livable.
The grants will renovate public places; transportation; housing; digital connections; diversity, equity and inclusion; and more…not surprisingly with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and older.
“These grants continue to lead to long-term, positive changes in communities across the country,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer.
“This year, we are proud to support the largest number of projects in the program’s seven-year history, which will improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes so everyone can thrive as they age,” she added.
AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
True to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by November 30, 2023.
This year, the AARP Community Challenge accepted applications across three different grant opportunities, including existing flagship grants in addition to new capacity-building microgrants for improving walkability and community gardens.
New demonstration grants will focus on improving transportation systems, with funding support provided by Toyota Motor North America, and housing choice design competitions.
AARP is also bolstering its investment in rural communities, mobility innovation, transportation options, and health and food access. Examples of this year’s projects include:
- Laramie, Wyoming: Converting a donated bus into an accessible greenhouse in an established community garden;
- Munich, North Dakota: Transforming an under-staffed, nonprofit grocery store to a self-service grocery store to address food insecurity in a rural community;
- Saint Louis, Michigan: Expanding access to high-speed internet, Wi-Fi, and setting up a public computer lab for veterans, military and their families;
- McLoud, Oklahoma: Expanding the Kickapoo Tribal Nation’s reservation transportation system to take older adults and those that are unable to drive to community meetings, field trips, and meal services; and
- Miami, Florida: Creating free, permitted plans that encourage the development of accessory dwelling units for older adults and their families.
The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages, especially those age 50 and older.
Including this year’s projects, AARP has awarded $16.3 million through more than 1,300 grants since 2017 to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the country.
2009 photo of historic downtown Laramie, Wyoming is by Nyttend via Wikipedia.