We know that it takes time to build great communities. But, we also believe that quick action can spark long-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 incredible results here in Delaware from the AARP Community Challenge grant program,” said George Meldrum, AARP State President. “There are tremendous opportunities to make our communities even better through a variety of project including housing, walkability, and more.”
In 2018, the AARP Community Challenge funded 129 projects nationwide, including right here in Delaware. Last year, the Claymont Community Center was awarded a grant to help them jumpstart a project that was in the works. The Center applied for funding to construct a walking path behind its facility so that the community can access a large park. A steep incline prevented residents from enjoying the many fitness opportunities the park could provide. The new path creates an entry to the open area that is accessible to all. It brings the community of Claymont together for socialization, fitness and fun.
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.