Age-friendly Communities Grants
About the AFC Grants
The Age-friendly Communities Grants are delivered by BC Healthy Communities (BCHC) in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health (MoH) and funded by the MoH.
In an age-friendly community, older adults are supported to age-in-place, living active, socially engaged, independent lives. To help local and Indigenous governments achieve the vision of building age-friendly communities, the AFC grants contain two parts:
• cash funding; combined with
• in-kind, customized age-friendly capacity-building supports.
As part of the. AFC program, in addition to the AFC grants, we offer tools and resources to support communities working toward building age-friendly communities.
Applications are submitted through the online webform, which opened for applications on June 1, 2023.
Applicants are encouraged to review the application guide and review the program details and eligibility criteria and application requirements before applying. Further questions? Register for our informational webinar or email us.
AFC Grants Details
The AFC grants include a cash grant as well as in-kind, customized capacity-building supports from BCHC staff. There are two streams of cash grants: one for communities developing age-friendly plans (Stream 1) and one for projects (Stream 2).
The following government organizations are eligible to apply:
- First Nations Bands
- First Nations Tribal Councils
- Métis Chartered Communities
- Regional Districts
- Self-Governing First Nations
Applications must be complete and include:
- a proposed budget indicating how the proposed expenditures align with the plan or project;
- high-level workplan; and
- a local government council/board resolution, or band council resolution, or equivalent.
A letter of support from your regional health authority or the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is recommended but not required. Please be advised that projects demonstrating multi-sectoral collaboration are more likely to be funded.
Written letters of support are suggested as a demonstration of existing partnerships. Please contact email@example.com with any questions or to set up a call.
Stream 1: Planning (Up to: $25,000)
The Planning grant stream provides Indigenous and local governments with an opportunity to demonstrate an age-friendly focus on all aspects of the planning process, setting a foundation for the success of future Stream 2: Projects grants. Eligible plans include:
- The development of a local age-friendly assessment and action plan; and/or
- Adding an age-friendly and equity lens to existing plans or policies, such as:
- Comprehensive Community Plans, Official Community Plans, or community or neighbourhood plans;
- Reconciliation plans, frameworks, or agreements;
- Zoning and other bylaws (subdivision, snow removal, parking, etc…);
- Development permit requirements, Community health and wellness plans;
- Emergency response, evacuation, and/or emergency social services plans; and/or
- Design guidelines, Active transportation planning, Food security/food systems planning;
- Community planning processes related to social determinants of health (e.g., affordable housing, homelessness, etc…).
Click here to see some examples of past age-friendly assessments and action plans.
Stream 2: Projects (Up to: $15,000)
The Projects stream provides funding to carry out one or some of the actions (projects) identified in the Planning phase. Typically, to be eligible for Stream 2: Projects grant funding, applicants are required to have completed an age-friendly assessment and action plan through the Stream 1: Planning grant. However, applicants can apply directly for Stream 2: Projects funding if they provide an existing age-friendly assessment and action plan. Some examples of age-friendly projects can be found here.
Age-friendly Capacity-Building Supports
The AFC grants include a cash grant as well as in-kind support from BCHC staff. Support could range from consultation by phone/email/video calls to face-to-face or possibly in-community collaboration. BCHC’s role in building community capacity may include (but is not limited to):
- Providing input on goal development and policy recommendations;
- Offering guidance on reflective planning practice;
- Supporting monitoring and evaluation strategies including the development of indicators, data collection methods and evaluation frameworks;
- Researching a variety of topics areas ranging from processes (e.g., partnership development, data collection strategies) to content (e.g. housing, food systems, transportation planning, and revisions to Official Community Plans or Regional Health and Wellness plans);
- Developing in-person and online community engagement processes, including support with planning and design;
- Connecting local and Indigenous governments to community-based organizations, other local and Indigenous governments and regional health authorities (e.g. introductions, convening meetings, bridge-building);
- Reviewing documents and advising on best practices;
- Participating on advisory committees;
- Sharing resources developed by BC Healthy Communities and others; and
- Designing and delivering online trainings and webinars specific to your needs.
All Stream 1 and Stream 2 applications must demonstrate a focus on one or more of the eight domains of an age-friendly community. The age-friendly physical and social environment domains align with the World Health Organizations Age-friendly Cities (WHO) and the Canadian Age-friendly Rural & Remote Communities projects. Please note that the B.C. language below has been updated to be more inclusive.
- Outdoor spaces and buildings
- Transportation, including traffic safety
- Social well-being and participation
- Respect, social inclusion, and cultural safety
- Community engagement and employment
- Communications and information
- Community support and health and wellness services
The application must include a budget outline indicating how the proposed expenditures aligns with the initiative.
The application must include a work plan detailing key milestones and project leads. (you will find the budget and workplan template here).
The application must include a local government council/board resolution*, band council resolution, or equivalent, supporting the initiative.
The application must be submitted using BC Healthy Communities’ online webform. If you have any challenges related to submitting online, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Incomplete packages are likely to score lower than complete applications and are less likely to be successful. Applications will be scored by an Adjudication Committee based on a weighted point system. Applications must achieve a minimum score to be approved.
All questions must be answered unless clearly indicated that they are optional. Download the application questions here.
Stream 2 applications will be asked to indicate any Health Promotion Initiatives for older adults that are reflected in their projects. (see pages 9-10 of the application guide).
* Council not meeting before the deadline? The application must be submitted by July 28, but we will accept the council resolution by email after the deadline if necessary. The application form allows you to state the resolution will be submitted at a later date and give the date of the meeting. If possible, please submit the resolution as soon as possible to ensure it is included in our adjudication process.
Budget and Workplan
- The project workplan is a high-level overview of proposed project milestones and responsibilities, and anticipated BCHC supports (see age-friendly capacity building supports, above, or Section 4.6 of the application guide for a list of potential BCHC Staff Supports). We recognize processes may not be linear; however, this helps our team to better understand your project proposal. The following costs are eligible:
- Project staff (e.g., coordination, facilitation, partnership development and student-led research);
- Communications (e.g., promotional materials, printing and design);
- Indigenous government and local government and community partner expenses (e.g. venue, travel mileage, food, accommodation and child care) related to attending multi-sectoral partnership meetings and events;
- Data collection (e.g., asset mapping and environmental audits);
- Honoraria to reduce barriers to volunteer participation; and
- (For Stream 2 only). Capital expenditures that are clearly linked to initiatives and programming for older adults may be included and may be approved; provided they do not exceed 40% of the total requested Stream 2 grant (i.e., 40% of a $15,000 grant request could allow for a maximum of $6,000 allocated for capital costs).
The following costs are not eligible:
- Expenses for activities that have already taken place;
- Existing community programs, unless you are working to scale or expand proven impacts;
- Entertainment or personal expenses;
- Development of feasibility studies, business cases, architectural, engineering or other design drawings for the construction or renovation of facilities providing services to older adults, including housing and care facilities;
- Sidewalk, path, or trail construction or improvements, or other infrastructure projects;
- One-time events that are not part of a larger age-friendly community strategy (e.g., community dinners, festivals or community gardens); and,
- Costs associated with equipment and other capital expenses over 40% of the project budget.
In addition, past age-friendly communities grant recipients must have completed and fulfilled all past reporting requirements for all types of grant funds previously received.
Application Review Process
Proposals will be assessed on the eligibility of the applicant and proposed expenses, and connection between project activities and objectives stated in the application guide.
As you will see within the application section where you will describe your plan/project, you will be asked about important principles for consideration in AFC planning and projects that are related to:
- Being community-driven (i.e., based on previous work in your community/based on what is important to people within your community);
- Being sustainable (to be able to act and continue beyond the funding period/make changes over time);
- Demonstrating multi-sectoral partnerships (see page 6 of the application guide);
- The use of an equity lens (see page 7 of the application guide);
- Participation of older adults throughout all phases of planning/projects (a component of equity);
- Reflection of Provincial Health Promotion Initiatives (HPIs) for older adults (see page 9 of the application guide). The question regarding HPIs is indicated as optional in the application form.
- How you will know your plan/project is successful and how you will track progress. For example:
- You could describe how you will collect the feedback of the community members who attend an event; or,
- You might have an evaluation plan for the initiative that you can share with us;
- Note that it is important to apply an equity lens to your evaluation plan.
To ensure the distribution of grant funding across the province, the health authority region of each proposal will be considered as part of the review process, with priority given to communities with no prior age-friendly communities funding and small/rural communities, along with the principles outlined above.
Communities are encouraged to reach out to email@example.com to learn about the grant-making process and decision criteria or to set up an application consultation call.
Project Learning & Reflection Process
We will schedule an onboarding call with Stream 1 – Planning grant recipients to introduce ourselves and determine how we can best support your team. This call is not required for Stream 2 – Projects grant recipients, but they may request an onboarding or strategy call at any time.
All grant recipients are required to complete a final report at the end of the project. The questions in the final report are similar to the questions in the application form and the final report template will be available in the Spring of 2024.
Background and Context
What is an Age-friendly Community?
Age-friendly communities allow for healthy, safe and equitable aging, allowing older adults to age-in-place. These communities recognize the wide range of capacities and resources of older persons and respond to their needs while removing physical and social barriers to inclusion. Age-friendly communities also benefit all demographics and groups, as safer, more inclusive planning and infrastructure benefit everyone.
Establishing age-friendly communities in B.C. builds on the global findings from the World Health Organization’s Age-friendly Cities and the Canadian Age-friendly Rural and Remote Communities projects in 2007.
Age-friendly Community Health & Well-being
In general, British Columbians are among the healthiest people in the world, but not everyone is able to enjoy equitable access to health. We know it’s not enough to encourage people to choose healthy behaviours if the social, economic, and physical environments around them are not also designed to support health and well-being.
Evidence shows that between 60 and 75 per cent of factors influencing our health are outside the healthcare system. These influences—including transportation, available recreation options, supportive social networks, community design, and access to healthy food—exist in the communities where we live, work, learn, age and play.
For more information on how Indigenous and local governments can create age-friendly communities, and examples of past age-friendly communities plans and projects, see the application guide.