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Opportunities for OR Communities to Try New Ideas through AARP Grants

State News

The AARP Community Grant Challenge is accepting applications for projects that make communities more livable and can be completed within a few months. The grant provides a chance for organizations and local governments to try new ideas.

Local organizations and governments in Oregon looking for funding for their projects now have an opportunity with A-A-R-P’s Community Challenge Grant. Applications are open for the sixth annual program, which awards out small grants to projects that help make communities more livable. Bandana Shrestha, state director of A-A-R-P Oregon, says challenge grants are designed to support projects that can be turned around quickly.

“They should be projects that hopefully get people excited on a new idea, fast-tracking new ideas, or to build momentum on an existing project. And we’re particularly looking for projects that prioritize and support residents 50-plus,” said Shrestha.

She says A-A-R-P looks for projects that that engage communities, by creating more vibrant public spaces or improving housing or transportation. Applications are being accepted through March 22nd, and the selected projects must be completed by November 30th.

This year, A-A-R-P also is calling for projects that leverage funding through laws like the American Rescue Plan Act or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Marilyn Daily-Blair’s organization, Center 50-plus in Salem, received a grant for a downtown summer pop-up in 2019, which engaged people in hands-on education and ways to navigate the city’s public transit system.

:12  “The Challenge Grant is just that – it’s a challenge to your community to create the community you want for everyone. And for us here in Salem, it was building a place for all ages and abilities, where they can live and thrive for a lifetime,” said Daily-Blair.

A-A-R-P Oregon is holding an informational session online on February 22nd to help guide prospective applicants in how to submit proposals. Since 2017, 16 projects in Oregon have been funded, with grants totaling more than 200-thousand dollars.

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