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Community Challenge Grants Improve Livability Across CA

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Four California communities will see some significant improvements in the next few months – thanks to the 2019 AARP Community Challenge Grant program.

West Sacramento will use data to identify seniors most at risk of a house fire, then distribute smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust will build a new age-friendly park that accommodates people with limited mobility.

The Thai Community Development Center in East Hollywood will be more accessible.

And Erik Tilkemeier, director of economic and urban development with City Heights Development Corporation, says his agency will transform a vacant lot in San Diego into a place of respite for people coming out of the nearby transit center.

“Well, it’ll have several positive outcomes,” he states. “We see place-making as a community building, social cohesion opportunity, as well as an economic development opportunity and an active transportation opportunity.”

All the projects are quick turnarounds – they have to be finished by Nov. 4.

This is the third year that AARP has awarded the grants, some as large as $37,000, to promote vibrant public spaces, greater accessibility, data-driven Smart Cities projects, improved transit, and affordable housing.

Rafi Nazarians, associate state director of community for AARP California, says more than 1,700 nonprofit groups and government agencies competed for the grants, and about 10% made the cut.

“One-hundred-59 grantees were selected, and a total of nearly $1.6 million will be distributed to fund these quick action grants across the country,” he states. “And they’ll help to make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages.”

The program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities Initiative.

Disclosure: AARP California contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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