MacKenzie Scott's Habitat for Humanity Donation Shocks Local Chapters

Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott has donated $436 million to the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International and 84 of the charity's affiliate organizations in the U.S.

U.S. chapters in 33 states have started to receive millions of dollars from Scott's donation and are already making plans for how to spend it. Habitat for Humanity in Philadelphia and Oakland County, Michigan, received $5 million each, which will help support their communities, Philly Voice reported.

Scott's net worth is estimated to be more than $55 billion, according to Bloomberg. Since her divorce from Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and former CEO, Scott has pledged to give away most of her wealth to charity. In the past nine months, she has donated more than $3 billion to 465 nonprofits both in the United States and internationally, Scott wrote in a Medium post.

The multimillion-dollar donation to Habitat for Humanity is unrestrictive, meaning the nonprofit can choose to use the money however it sees fit. Habitat for Humanity International received $25 million, while the remaining $411 million was given to local affiliates, the organization said Tuesday.

Philadelphia's affiliate said the donation would expedite its work and allow it to build and repair more homes, plus invest in resources and technology for affordable housing. Habitat Philadelphia said more than 121,000 families are living in poor housing, Philly Voice reported.

"This transformational $5 million represents so much more than a generous donation," Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia CEO Corinne O'Connell said, according to the news outlet. "With this catalytic gift, MacKenzie Scott is signaling that she believes in Habitat Philadelphia's vision of a city where everyone has a decent place to live."

Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County said it will use the money over the next three years to support programs for making home repairs, financial coaching and neighborhood revitalization, The Oakland Press reported.

Tim Ruggles, Habitat's executive director and CEO in Oakland County, said the $5 million will have a "huge impact" on the area's housing crisis. The money will provide more accessible housing in a tight market and create a community where "everyone has a decent place to live," he said, according to The Oakland Press.

Meanwhile, Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County in Florida received $5.75 million from Scott's donation. Catherine Steck McManus, president and CEO of the chapter, said it costs her organization about $25,000 more to build a house in the same area than it did two years ago. She said the chapter plans to use the money to build more houses and prepare people for owning them, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Additionally, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties in Florida received $11 million, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Habitat for Humanity in Dallas received $9 million, and the Greater Los Angeles area's chapter received $20 million.

Update 3/23/22, 12:05 p.m. ET: This story was updated with additional information and background.

Habitat for Humanity Donation
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International and 84 of its U.S. affiliates. Above, Scott arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in Beverly Hills, California, on March 4, 2018. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/AP Photo