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AARP Community Challenge Grants Are Back in 2019

Posted on 02/20/19 by Jason Tomcsi, AARP Blog Author

Applications are currently being accepted through Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 11:59 p.m. ET

We know that it takes time to build great communities. But, we also believe that quick action can spark longer-term progress. AARP launched the AARP Community Challenge to fund projects that build momentum for change in communities to improve livability for all local residents.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities.  Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand for larger projects.

The program will accept applications for projects in the following categories for 2019:

  • Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” This new category in 2019 will encourage communities to develop and implement innovative programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data to increase quality of life for all. The intention with this new category is to encourage applicants to demonstrate new ways to engage in decision-making about housing, transportation, economic development, placemaking, infrastructure, or other community aspect.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and connectivity options through permanent or temporary solutions that increase walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements
  • Create vibrant public places through permanent or temporary solutions that activate open spaces, improve parks and improve access to amenities
  • Support the availability of a range of housing through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options
  • Other innovative approaches to improving the community

“We’ve seen tangible results here in Indiana from the AARP Community Challenge grant program,” Sarah Waddle, state director for AARP Indiana. “Hoosiers have shown that they are taking the lead through innovation and action to make their communities better for people of all ages. There are tremendous opportunities to make our communities even better and we encourage all eligible organizations to apply.”

In 2018, the AARP Community Challenge funded 129 projects nationwide, including right here in Indiana where two grants were awarded. The City of Gary Redevelopment Commission received a grant to provide a new park in downtown Gary on a formerly blighted vacant lot and offer free or low-cost events, programming, and amenities to the general public. In Indianapolis, IndyGo was awarded a grant to provide a transit stipend and training for two low-income housing units for older adults.

The application deadline for 2019 AARP Community Challenge grants is Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 11:59 p.m. ET. All projects must be completed by Monday, November 4, 2019.

For more information or to apply, visit AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.

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