MacKenzie Scott has donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International and 84 of its U.S. affiliates — the largest publicly announced donation from the billionaire philanthropist since she vowed in 2019 to give away most of her fortune.
“We couldn’t be more excited to receive the gift at a time when housing affordability is in some ways as bad as it is in modern times,” Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, told The Associated Press.
His group received $25 million from Scott and her husband Dan Jewett, with the remaining $411 million distributed to Habitat’s local affiliates.
Scott’s donation represents nearly 8% of the $325 million in donations that Habitat for Humanity International received in fiscal 2020.
Reckford said Habitat for Humanity will use Scott’s unrestricted donation to increase the supply of affordable housing, particularly in communities of color. While tackling the problem in different ways, most local affiliates will pursue projects in their communities, while the international group focuses on broader advocacy and efforts to build homes for working-class families.
“Even before COVID, we already had one in seven families paying more than half of their income on rent or mortgage,” Reckford said. The past two years have exacerbated this problem as many people looked to buy larger homes to weather the pandemic.
The housing shortage has pushed up prices in many markets across the country, making homes out of reach for many first-time buyers.
“For low- and middle-income families who work in the service sector and didn’t have adequate housing and still have to go to work, this has been a disaster,” Reckford said.
Scott, who is worth around $48 billion according to Forbes, has signed the Giving Pledge through which many billionaires have pledged to donate more than half their wealth.
Aside from an occasional blog post, Scott, an author and philanthropist, doesn’t talk about her donations, which totaled $8 billion over the past two years following her divorce from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who was then the richest person in the world exceeded . As part of the divorce settlement, Scott received 4% of Amazon stock.
Hoping she’d lessen the attention she’s garnering, Scott declined to reveal in December how much money she’d donated or to whom. She said she would prefer to have recipients announce their gifts, as Habitat for Humanity is expected to do Tuesday.
Last week, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America announced they and 62 local Boys & Girls Clubs received $281 million from Scott. On Monday, the Fortune Society, a New York-based group that helps formerly incarcerated people rejoin society, announced that Scott has donated $10 million to them.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/22/jeff-bezos-ex-wife-mackenzie-scott-makes-436m-donation/ Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott donates $436 million