AARP is now accepting applications for the 2019 Community Challenge grant program to fund “quick-action” projects that spark change in local communities. The grant program, which is now in its third year, is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which aims to make communities great places to live for everyone.
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 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 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 in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.
- Create vibrant public places in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that activate open spaces, improve parks and improve access to amenities.
- Support the availability of a range of housing in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options.
- Other innovative projects to improve the community.
“We’ve seen tangible results here in Connecticut from the AARP Community Challenge grant program which has also led to the development of the local Livable Communities Grant Program,” said Tia Murphy, AARP Connecticut state president. “There are tremendous opportunities in communities across Connecticut to bring people together, and provide resources and expertise that will make our towns and cities great places to live for residents of all ages.”
Since 2017, AARP has awarded 217 grants through the Community Challenge to nonprofit organizations and government entities representing every state and U.S. territories, including four in Connecticut. The 2018 awardees in Connecticut included the Town Center Project in Hebron, Town of New Milford and Citizens Advisory Committee and Town of Stafford. The national 2018 winners were active in helping to revitalize alleyways, build dog parks, enliven underutilized public spaces and improve unsafe intersections.
AARP Connecticut works in collaboration with communities across the state, bringing people together and providing resources and expertise to help make Connecticut’s counties, towns and cities great places to live for people of all ages.
In 2018, AARP Connecticut launched a local expansion of the Community Challenge initiative with the “Livable Communities Grant Program” dedicated to fund “quick-action” projects in Connecticut communities. AARP Connecticut selected four awardees for its inaugural grant program that is a part of AARP’s Livable Communities initiative: Goodwin College, Groundwork Bridgeport, Mansfield Downtown Partnership and Oak Hill.
The application deadline is Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 11:59 p.m. ET, and all projects must be completed by Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Applications must be submitted through AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.