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Conway, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: In 2017, the New Hampshire legislature legalized the construction of accessory dwelling units throughout the state. To promote this age-friendly housing option, the Mount Washington Valley Housing Coalition created information about the benefits of ADUs. This included print resources, videos and in-person presentations, which they distributed throughout the 10 towns encompassing the Mount Washington Valley. What was most gratifying were the responses from everyone who heard the multiple benefits of ADUs, realized their own properties could qualify, saw the possibilities for elderly parents, learned that the old regulations no longer applied and felt empowered to talk to their own planning board members to advocate for flexible and permissive interpretations of the law, a representative of the coalition said. Since launching the initiative, the coalition has worked to educate real estate agents about ADUs. The organization has since added a town-by-town guide to local ADU ordinances.

Atlanta, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: To educate the public about options to age in place, MicroLife Institute created a 4-minute informational video on accessory dwelling units -- small dwellings built on a property alongside a preexisting single-family home. The video features firsthand accounts of what it's like to live in or build an ADU. For Katharine Connell, a young Atlanta mother and homeowner, an ADU means multi-generational housing for her aging mother. My mom and I have always been very close, she tells viewers. For others in the video, renting out an ADU led to supplemental income or provided tenants with more affordable option, helping them remain in their neighborhood. Organizers say they hope the video serves as a tool to mobilize residents to demand their local commissions permit more housing options, including ADUs.

Santa Cruz, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: An increasing number of older adults are at risk of losing their homes. Common reasons include rising housing costs or homes that are unsuitable for aging in place. According to David Foster, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay, 300 families in the high-cost Santa Cruz area are income-burdened. To address this, Habitat for Humanity's My House My Home program builds aging-friendly accessory dwelling units. This project involved building an ADU attachment onto an older couple's home. That allowed the couple to rent out the unit, providing them with rental income that allowed them to remain in their home of 50 years. Grant funding also supported accessibility to the main house, including a new walkway and ramp, as well as low-water landscaping. They have the option to move into the ADU - which also includes accessibility features - if they choose to downsize in the future.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Bath, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Organizers with Age-Friendly Communities of Lower Kennebec and City of Bath hoped to create inclusive public spaces for residents of all ages to enjoy. They worked with students to install outdoor chess and checkers tables at a new downtown plaza and a near a local assisted living facility. The tables are ADA accessible include benches designed for people of all ages and abilities. A spectator bench allows onlookers to take a seat and watch the players. To ensure all community members can play, game sets are available for loan at the local library and nearby businesses.

Bath, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Trails

Description: This project widened and stabilized the Whiskeag Trail. As additional trail improvements, it also widened bridges and added ramps installed ADA-compliant benches and updated the emergency system.

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