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Livable Communities

During Older Americans Month, Governor Jay Inslee proudly announced that Washington state has joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities and USAging’s Dementia-Friendly America networks. This significant step is a testament to our state's commitment to helping our residents age gracefully and thrive in their communities. These designations are the result of a continuous and dedicated collaboration between Washington State’s Department of Health, the Department of Social and Health Services, and the Health Care Authority.
AARP, lawmakers and others are looking at neighborhood networks as a way to help provide services to older residents — possibly helping them stay in their homes longer.
We know that it takes time to build great communities. But we also believe that tangible improvements can spark long-term change. AARP launched the Community Challenge grant program in 2017 to fund projects that build momentum to improve livability nationwide. We are excited to announce the program is back in 2024 for its eighth year and is currently accepting applications online through March 6, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. ET / 2:00 p.m. PT.
The AARP Community Challenge grants fund quick-turnaround projects that increase community livability and spur long-term progress. This year, Washington State groups won funding for a wide array of projects—from an ADU design competition to a free transit service for older adults.
AARP surveys consistently find that older adults want to remain in their current homes and communities for as long as possible. But our needs can change as we age, and most houses and apartments are designed for young, able-bodied adults and don’t meet the needs of older residents or people with disabilities.
It is no secret that we face a housing supply and affordability challenge in Washington. It is an oft-repeated story in the news, and we know that Washington residents want more choices in size and price.
The annual program aims to make Washington communities more livable for people of all ages
By Cathy MacCaul, AARP Washington Advocacy Director
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle’s age-friendly initiative helped Emerald City residents remain connected by hosting more than 50 virtual events. Collectively, they were viewed more than 12,000 times.
The 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant has funded four projects in Washington this year, each aimed at making their communities more livable.
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