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Applications Now Accepted for Community Challenge Grant Program

February 21, 2019, 9:35 AM HST (Updated February 21, 2019, 9:36 AM)
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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

Community Challenge Grant funded the Trust for Public Land’s Lei of Parks Family Day in 2018. Courtesy photo.

“Last year, the Community Challenge Grant funded the Trust for Public Land’s Lei of Parks Family Day, a fun activity which linked Ala Moana, Kewalo Basin and Kaka‘ako parks and highlighted the potential to create bike and pedestrian paths that will link parks across Oahu’s South Shore,” said Barbara Kim Stanton, the AARP Hawai‘i state director. “We also started the Biki Social Rides to give free Biki bike ride workshops aimed at getting people 50 and older to try bicycle ride share. These grants are tremendous opportunities to highlight the work of local nonprofit groups and give them a chance to make a dream project to help the community become a reality.”

Since 2017, AARP has awarded 217 grants through the Community Challenge to nonprofit organizations and government entities representing every state and U.S. Territories. Go online to see some of the 2018 winners in action, helping to revitalize alleyways, build dog parks, enliven underutilized public spaces and improve unsafe intersections.

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AARP Hawai‘i works in collaboration with communities across the state, bringing people together and providing resources and expertise to help make Hawai’i’s counties, towns and cities great places to live for people of all ages. In addition to the local Community Challenge Grant Awards, AARP Hawai‘i advocates for better pedestrian safety so kupuna and people of all ages don’t have to be afraid to cross the street. We also helped pass Honolulu’s new Age-Friendly Honolulu law that creates an Age-Friendly Honolulu program in city government so that Honolulu will become a better place to grow up and grow old in.

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 online.

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