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Greater Charlottesville Habitat receives $5.75 million from Mackenzie Scott

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville is receiving a $5.75 million grant from writer and philanthropist Mackenzie Scott to help fund the nonprofits efforts at building homes.

Local Habitat President and CEO Dan Rosensweig said the grant will help maintain the organization’s home building pace and continue its redevelopment of Southwood Mobile Home Park.

“To say I was overwhelmed by the gift would be an understatement,” Rosensweig said in a statement. “Not only does Ms. Scott’s gift validate the incredible work that the team has done, the courageous spirit of our board, the brilliant vision of the community, the generous contributions of funders and the hard work of partner families and Southwood community members, but it will help us offset the ‘COVID Deficit.’”

This month, Habitat started construction on the first two new homes in Southwood and is preparing lots for the next 68 homes. According to the organization, it is nearing the end of a successful $15 million capital campaign and has sold 100% of the market rate lots in the first phase of the project to cross subsidize the affordable homes.

Habitat has received roughly $6 million in public funding commitments for the first phase of development and is working to seek approvals from Albemarle County for the second rezoning needed for the project.

Habitat for Humanity International, along with 84 U.S. Habitat affiliate organizations, received $436 million in unrestricted giving from Scott, the organization announced on Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, it is the largest publicly disclosed donation from the billionaire philanthropist since she pledged in 2019 to give away the majority of her wealth.

Aside from an occasional blog post, Scott, an author and philanthropist, doesn’t discuss her donations, which exceeded $8 billion in the past two years after her divorce from Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, who was then the richest person in the world.

As part of the divorce settlement, Scott received 4% of Amazon’s shares.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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