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

See More Grantees Like This One

Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: As part of efforts to provide affordable housing in Chicago, Elevate Energy set out to help an older adult homeowner renovate her two-unit building. The owner would be able to safely age in place in one unit, while renting the other unit out to a family in need of affordable housing. The improvements focus on accessibility upgrades and addressing deferred maintenance -- making the building less costly to keep up in the future. Project organizers rewired the entire building and replaced the roof -- improvements that helped project organizers attract funding from other sources to complete the renovation. They hope to use this project as a case study to demonstrate the potential for two-flats to enable aging at place and provide below-market rental housing.

Rockford, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: The City launched its Neighborhood Improvement Initiative, focusing on six neighborhoods in Rockford with many older adult residents. The effort connected residents with community agencies and resources. Additionally the project focused on neighborhood beautification. The City held neighborhood clean-up parties and identify home entrances in need of repairs.

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.

Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To promote walkability, economic development and better quality of life for residents, the Chicago Department of Transportation created a replicable prototype for a People Spot. Consisting of a wooden platform, the People Spots transform on-street parking spaces into outdoor patios. To help neighborhood groups set up their own People Spots, the City published construction plans and an assembly manual for the parklets online. Part of the City's Livable Streets Program, organizers say the temporary infrastructure helps neighborhoods overcome economic hardship by encouraging residents to walk and frequent local businesses. The City installed its first People Spot in the South Side Chatham neighborhood in 2018. That iteration measured about six feet wide by 20 feet long, but the platforms can be as long as 80 feet.

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