MacKenzie Scott

Atlanta Habitat, along with Habitat for Humanity International, and 83 U.S. Habitat affiliate organizations, have received a $436 million gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Atlanta Habitat said it would use the $13.5 million it received to build affordable housing in the city.

“Since 1983, Atlanta Habitat has served more than 6,000 family members in over 100 neighborhoods across our various programs and initiatives,” said Rosalyn Merrick, interim president and CEO, Atlanta Habitat. “We hope this gift will inspire others to contribute to Atlanta Habitat’s mission. The affordable housing shortage is affecting families throughout our communities, and we are grateful to Ms. Scott and other like-minded champions who are helping us make Atlanta a place where all people have access to quality affordable housing in safe, vibrant neighborhoods with opportunities to thrive.” 

This funding will support the organization’s ongoing efforts to address challenges stemming from rising housing costs and rents that have disproportionately fallen on entry-level, owner-occupied housing, as well as recover from the significant drop in home purchases by African Americans in Atlanta communities between 2015 and 2019.

“Specifically, the donation will allow Atlanta Habitat to accelerate current plans to diversify our construction portfolio while safely navigating through an affordable housing crisis aided by a changing economic environment, escalating materials and land costs, a corresponding tight labor market, and a global health pandemic,” said Merrick. “Ultimately, this gift enables us to serve more families in metro Atlanta.”

The former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in 2019 that she planned to give away most of her wealth during her lifetime. In 2020, Scott donated $1.7 billion to 116 nonprofits with a focus on racial equality, LGBTQ+ equality, democracy, and climate change.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.