WASHINGTON—Today, AARP announced it is investing $3.4 million through 260 Community Challenge grants for quick-action projects that will help communities become more livable in the long-term. These grants will improve public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over. Many of this year’s projects will help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“Helping adults thrive as they age has never been more important, and AARP is dedicated to working with communities to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes,” 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 Community Challenge’s six-year history to help communities leverage opportunities with historic federal investments.”
AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. True to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by November 30, 2022.
This year, AARP is bolstering its investment of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis. With additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its investment in projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options. Examples of this year’s granted projects include:
- Moro, Oregon: Creating free, pre-approved plans that encourage the development of accessory dwelling units for older adults and their families;
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Helping to reconnect a neighborhood divided and displaced by expressway construction in the 1960s through engaging older residents and creating a temporary multigenerational public space for older adults and people of all ages;
- Chelmsford, Massachusetts: Establishing informational kiosks and mini libraries to educate older residents about Chelmsford's Indigenous Peoples throughout the town near historical markers, public parks and trailheads on Indigenous lands;
- Silver City, New Mexico: Converting a dead-end road into an engaging, interactive, pedestrian space for residents – especially adults age 50 and over – to gather that will connect the park to downtown and prevent frequent flooding; and
- St. Louis, Missouri: Transforming a desolate transit stop into an interactive and engaging center with accessible seating, shade and art 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 50 and over. Including this year’s projects, AARP has awarded $12.7 million through more than 1,060 grants since 2017 to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the country, many of which have led to long-term change.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.