AARP Texas has announced six local organizations will receive 2021 Community Challenge grants, which are among the largest group of national grantees to date with $3.2 million awarded among 244 organizations.
Grantees will implement quick-action projects to promote livable communities by improving housing, transportation, public spaces, civic engagement, and connection with family, friends, and neighbors, emphasizing the needs of the 50-plus population. Many of this year’s awards support revitalizing communities adversely impacted by the pandemic and focus on diversity, inclusion, and disparities.
2021 marks the fifth year of the grant program. Across the five years, AARP has delivered $9.3 million to 804 grants. Including the 2021 grants, there have been 18 grants, for a total of $251,716, delivered in Texas.
Of the Texas projects funded this year, five are in Houston and one in Dallas. They include:
- City of Dallas, Transportation Department. Upgrading crosswalks and traffic signals at the intersection of Elam and North Jim Miller roads in Southeast Dallas to provide safer pedestrian access to schools, churches, recreational trails and public transportation.
- My Connect Community. The project entails adding shade structures, seating, trees and a mural along streets in Houston’s Gulfton/Sharpstown area;
- North Houston Management District. The project entails creating an “augmented reality” installation, combining art and technology for a multimedia experience, on the exterior of the Aldine Branch Library in North Houston;
- Houston Land Bank. Transformation of a gardening space in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood into a gathering place where generations connect through agriculture.
- Greater Northside Management District. The project involves erecting wayfinder signs in five Houston neighborhoods to boost pedestrian connections to businesses and neighborhood amenities, helping increase public safety and economic activity; and
- City of Houston, Planning Department. The initiative entails encouraging the building of accessory dwelling units, which are additional living spaces on existing properties (such as an apartment over a garage), by developing design plans pre-approved by Houston zoning officials.
Learn more about the Community Challenge program at aarp.org/communitychallenge or follow this link to see the complete list of AARP Community Challenge Grant 2021 Grantees and the project descriptions.