Click here to learn about the 2024 AARP Community Challenge — and apply by March 6, 2024.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Batavia, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: Local officials and community organizations hoped to increase pedestrian and bicycle traffic in downtown Batavia. To do this, the Batavia Environmental Commission, Batavia Bicycle Commission, the WellBatavia Initiative and Batavia Maitreet undertook a research and promotional campaign. They hosted a walk and bike audit that taught residents urban biking skills, such as how to load a bike onto a public bus. The initiative then paired participants with residents of a local retirement community, as well as with families with small children, to help them learn about biking. The group produced a 15-minute video documentary presenting the town's history, showcasing its pedestrian and bike infrastructure and highlighting the need for future improvements. In 2022, Batavia announced it would create a bicycle and walking plan to improve city trails and make intersections safer.

Evanston, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

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

Description: To help mitigate housing affordability challenges, the City of Evanston created a digital guide for homeowners looking to build accessory dwelling units to their property. Written in partnership with the Evanston Development Cooperative, the guide covers zoning, financing, design and construction, as well as information about who typically lives in ADUs. Additionally, the City hosted a webinar on ADU construction, which it recorded and posted on its website. In fall 2020, the City updated its ADU ordinance to give homeowners more flexibility, allowing them to create separate housing units either attached to or within their existing homes. Project organizers say the guidebook has helped spread the word about the update. ADU construction in Evanston has increased since the guidebook's publication and City has worked to make model ADU blueprints available to residents.

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