ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Flower City Habitat for Humanity (FCHH) officials announced Tuesday a $3.75 million donation.
The gift is a portion of the $436 million donation to Habitat for Humanity International from American author and philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The gift is the largest publicly disclosed donation from the billionaire philanthropist since she pledged in 2019 to give away the majority of her wealth.
“We are extremely grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime gift from MacKenzie Scott,” said Matthew J. Flanigan, CEO & President of FCHH. “As we all know, there is a significant need for affordable housing in the City of Rochester and this generous donation will allow FCHH to provide a greater number of families with the opportunity for affordable homeownership in alignment with our mission of building homeownership, communities, and hope.”
Plans for the funding include support of “initiatives and programs that help city residents build stability, equity, and generational wealth through FCHH’s homeownership, repair, and advocacy programs.”
Specifically, officials say portions of the donation will:
- Will allow Habitat to advocate for policy proposals and legislation that enable millions of people to access affordable housing through its Cost of Home advocacy campaign.
- Increase Black homeownership in the U.S. by .targeting current systemic barriers through a new initiative that will launch this summer
- Leverage innovative capital investments that service communities of color.
“Habitat works to break down barriers and bring people together — to tear down obstacles and build a world where everyone, no matter who we are or where we come from, has a decent place to live,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. “This incredible gift helps make that work possible.”
In a December blog post titled “No Dollar Signs This Time,” Scott said she wouldn’t reveal how much she has given to charity since her last round of donations earlier this year, in an effort to reduce the attention she draws. Instead, she wrote a reflection on what philanthropy means.
“I’m not including here any amounts of money I’ve donated since my prior posts,” Scott wrote in the post Wednesday. “I want to let each of these incredible teams speak for themselves first if they choose to, with the hope that when they do, media focuses on their contributions instead of mine.”
The reclusive novelist, whose fortune is estimated by Forbes at $59 billion, had expressed similar sentiments in her last post in June when she announced that she gave $2.7 billion to charity. She remains a private person and doesn’t make public comments about her giving — or anything else — aside from what she writes on her Medium blog posts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.