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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati to get $7.5 million after MacKenzie Scott donation

Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati home
Posted at 11:27 PM, Mar 22, 2022

CINCINNATI — Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati will get $7.5 million after billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $436 million to the international nonprofit and its 84 U.S. affiliates.

“Clearly this is the largest donation we've ever received,” said Ed Lee, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati. “It is transformative. We hope to really use the funds that way to change what we're doing, to be able to serve more families.”

The amount is the largest publicly disclosed donation from Scott since she pledged to give away the majority of her wealth in 2019. According to Forbes, Scott has donated more than $8.5 billion to more than 780 organizations since her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Lee said a typical Habitat for Humanity home costs about $130,000. The donation, he said, comes at a critical time as inflation continues to drive up prices nationwide.

“Rental prices keep going up,” Lee said. “The really great thing about being in a homeowner situation is your mortgage. Yes, your taxes and insurance can go up, but your payments are not going to escalate quite the same way as rent does. As well as you're building for your future. You're creating an asset and generational wealth to pass on.”

Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International’s CEO, said Habitat for Humanity will use Scott’s timely donation of unrestricted funds to increase the supply of affordable housing, especially in communities of color.

“With this donation, Habitat is well-positioned to meaningfully advocate for the systemic and societal changes needed to improve equitable access to affordable housing,” Reckford said.

Scott signed the Giving Pledge, founded by Warren Buffet and Melinda and Bill Gates, shortly after her divorce. It's a commitment for the world's wealthiest to give away a majority of their wealth to charitable organizations.

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