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AARP Community Challenge Grants Are Back in 2018!

AARP community challenge
Applications are currently being accepted through May 16, 2018

The AARP Community Challenge “quick-action” grant program, which is now accepting applications for 2018, is designed to spark change and improve the quality of life for people of all ages in communities nationwide. We know that great communities take a long time to build and sustain. But we also believe that quick actions can be the catalyst for long-term progress. These grants provide localities and nonprofits the chance to fund innovative projects that can inspire change in transportation, open spaces, housing and other area, thereby improving communities.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities and other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Projects may range in scale from small, short-term activities costing a few hundred dollars to larger projects with budgets of a few thousand dollars. The program will accept applications for projects in the following categories for 2018:

  • delivering a range of transportation and connectivity options through permanent or temporary solutions that increase walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements
  • creating vibrant public places through permanent or temporary solutions that activate open spaces, improve parks and improve access to amenities
  • supporting 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

“The AARP Community Challenge Program is aimed at catalyzing change and improving the quality of life for people of all ages in communities nationwide,” said AARP California State Director, Nancy McPherson. “There are tremendous opportunities for positive change in communities across California and we encourage eligible entities to apply for these quick-action grants to make their communities more livable for all.”

In 2017, the first year that Community Challenge grants were awarded, 88 projects were supported across the nation, including 4 in California:

  1. The City of Fontana received funding to implement “Fontana Walks,” a new initiative that encouraged residents to walk 2 billion steps (or 1 million miles) in 365 days.
  2. The City of West Sacramento received funding for pedestrian safety improvements. The project utilized funds to extend signal timing and install talking pedestrian crossing buttons and countdown timers.
  3. Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay received funding to develop an aging in place program called “My House My Home,” which allowed senior homeowners on fixed incomes, who may be at risk of losing their homes, an opportunity to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and age in place while earning rental income with the addition of an affordable rental unit.
  4. Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) received funding to develop “Boomer.ology,” a game concept that is based on AARP’s 8 Domains of Livability. The purpose of the game is to orient San Diego residents to senior care and housing issues and to promote grassroots discussions and advocacy.

The application deadline for 2018 AARP Community Challenge grants is 5 p.m. ET, May 16, 2018. All projects must be completed by November 5, 2018.

For more information or to apply, visit

AARP California, in collaboration with communities across the state, works to help make California’s counties, towns and cities great places to live for people of all ages. The AARP California State office has worked to support open street programs like VivaCalle and CicLAvia, increase affordable transportation and housing options for people of all ages, stem discussions on creating vibrant open spaces, and much more. To learn more about AARP California’s work visit .

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