MacKenzie Scott donates $436 million to 84 U.S. Habitat for Humanity affiliates, including LA

Habitat LA will use the donation, the largest single donation in the organization's history, to expand and accelerate its efforts.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles has received $20 million of the $436 million donation from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, one of the largest portions of the gift from the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, officials said Tuesday.

Scott's donation to Habitat for Humanity International and an additional 83 Habitat affiliate organizations is the largest publicly disclosed donation from Scott since she pledged to give away the majority of her wealth in 2019.

The LA Habitat group -- which constructs new homes and renovates existing homes alongside Habitat partner homebuyers -- said the funds would help further its hopes for a world where everyone has equitable access to a safe, decent and affordable place to call home.

"We are immensely grateful to Ms. Scott for her tremendous generosity and confidence in our work,'' Habitat LA President and CEO Erin Rank said in a statement.

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"The significance of receiving this gift during a local and national affordable housing crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic and historic racial inequities, cannot be overstated. Ms. Scott's donation serves as a catalyst for the philanthropic community to devote substantial resources toward increasing the development of affordable owner-occupied housing and equitable revitalization of underinvested communities in Los Angeles and throughout the country.''

Habitat LA will utilize the $20 million donation -- the largest single donation in the organization's 32-year history -- to expand and accelerate its efforts to provide sorely needed affordable housing stock and programs for families including new home production, home repair and home loans for those historically blocked from economic opportunities due to racial inequities.

Since 1990, Habitat LA has built, rehabilitated or repaired more than 1,000 homes in neighborhoods across greater Los Angeles.

"The bottom line is this donation will help hundreds of people move into safe, secure and affordable homes sooner than we had planned,'' Rank said.

Habitat International will use its $25 million portion of the donation to prioritize advocacy and programmatic efforts designed to dismantle systemic racism in housing, the organization said.

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