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Grant application process open for AARP’s Livable Communities program

Local eligible organizations and governments across the United States are invited by AARP Virginia to apply for the 2023 AARP Community Challenge grant program.

Through March 15, 2023 at 5 p.m. EST, applications will be accepted for grants to fund quick-action projects with the goal of making Virginia communities more livable for everyone. Projects may improve public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement, and diversity and inclusion.

AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative is in its seventh year of supporting efforts in cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for all residents, especially age 50 and older.

“AARP Virginia is committed to helping communities across the state become great places to live for people of all ages with an emphasis on people age 50 and older,” AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau said. “The Community Challenge has proven that quick-action projects can lead to long-lasting improvements enhancing Virginians’ quality of life.”

Previous grants have enabled nearly half of recipients to obtain additional private and public sector funding.

Two of three categories in this year’s applications process are new. All projects must serve the needs of residents 50 years old and older. Capacity-building microgrants are new this year and paired with additional resources to provide one-on-one coaching, webinars, cohort learning opportunities for improving walkability and starting or expanding a community garden. Also new are demonstration grants which focus on transportation improvements with funding from Toyota Motor North America, and with a focus on promoting greater awareness of the benefits of accessory dwelling units as a housing solution.

Community Challenge grants are also available under a flagship opportunity to support projects that improve public places, transportation, housing, diversity, equity and inclusion, digital connections, community health and economic empowerment, and community resilience, and civic engagement.

More than $12.7 million has been awarded to more than 1,060 projects since 2017, including 21 in Virginia. All projects awarded must be completed by Nov. 30, 2023.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.