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About the AARP Community Challenge

Our annual challenge funds projects that build momentum for local change

AARP Community Challenge

The AARP Community Challenge grant program is part of the nationwide AARP Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. The program is intended to help communities make immediate improvements and jump-start long-term progress in support of residents of all ages.

For the first-ever AARP Community Challenge in 2017, AARP received nearly 1,200 applications and chose 88 winning grantees.

In 2018, for the second challenge, AARP received almost 1,600 applications and funded 129 projects.

In 2019, the grant program distributed nearly $1.6 million among 159 grant winners developing “quick-action” projects across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each project helped communities make immediate improvements while jumpstarting long-term progress to support residents of all ages. 

“AARP’s teams on the ground across the country hear from mayors, local leaders and residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change. We developed the Community Challenge grant program to answer that call and help build momentum for more livable communities nationwide,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. 

Each of the projects, which had to be completed by November 4, 2019, were designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.

  • Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by engaging residents and policymakers in accessing, understanding and using data to increase quality of life for all.

  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.

  • Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.

The AARP Community Challenge grant program is part of the nationwide AARP Livable Communities initiative, which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. As part of this effort, AARP staff and volunteers engage and mobilize residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the communities and states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities

Learn more about the AARP Community Challenge

Questions about the AARPCommunity Challenge can be emailed to

Page updated January 2020

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