WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott is known for her donations, and her latest one could bring more affordable housing to Central Texas.
Scott, who is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International and more than 80 local organizations, including a $1 million to the Waco Habitat for Humanity.
Executive director John Alexander said he thought it was too good to be true when he learned about the donation, but he said it is a true blessing that will benefit the area. Alexander said affordable housing is a major issue in Waco right now, and this money will help them serve more area families.
He said costs are rising across the board–affordable, vacant lots are hard to come by. Additionally, the costs of materials and labor are rising as well.
“We’re going to be able to ramp up our production, hopefully, be able to find some more buildable lots in the city of Waco, which is our biggest limiting factor right now,” Alexander said. “But serving more families so that they can have affordable decent housing is our goal.”
Alexander said the donation is equal to their annual budget for this year. While they are thankful for the donations, he said local donations are still very important to them.
“This is a one-time gift that’s is not ever going to happen again,” Alexander said. “So we want to be able to use it to leverage local funds into to build up our program and to grow in the number of families we’re able to serve.”
Habtitat for Humanity International will use its $25 million portion of the donation to work to dismantle systemic racism in housing. Specifically, the group will advocated for policy proposals and legislation that enables millions of people to access affordable housing through its Cost of Home advocacy campaign.
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