Puget Sound, Washington (March 22, 2022) —American author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott gifted $436 million in unrestricted giving to Habitat for Humanity International and 83 U.S. Habitat affiliate organizations, including four in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington State investment totals $15M and will impact communities in Clallam, Pierce, King, Kittitas and Thurston Counties.
Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties CEO Brett D’Antonio says, “We’re extremely grateful for this investment in Habitat. This historic and generous donation will have an immeasurable, multi-generational impact for families in our communities and our region for many years to come. The gift will expand our resources to maintain housing affordability when building and restoring homes and help fund land acquisition and home construction.”
In a region where the home affordability gap continues to widen—where, according to the National Association of Home Builders, 75% of residents are priced out of homeownership at the current median home sale price—this transformational donation will substantially further Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has equitable access to a safe, decent and affordable place to call home.
South Puget Sound CEO Carly Colgan says, “We are honored and humbled by this unprecedented donation to our organization. This investment will help us increase our capacity and sustainability while growing our commitment to providing climate resilient affordable housing solutions. Ultimately, we will be able to serve more families in Thurston County, changing lives and bettering our community.”
In Washington State, 1 in 7 households are cost-burdened by housing, paying more than 50% of their income for a roof overhead and making it challenging to provide other essentials like groceries and medical care. Philanthropic gifts help Habitat affiliates keep entry-level homeownership a reality in our communities.
Tacoma/Pierce County CEO Maureen Fife says, “To be recognized with a donation from Ms. Scott is truly humbling. Our organization’s staff and board have continually refined and elevated the work, led by vision and strategy, hard labor, and boundless compassion for our community. Our top priorities will be to increase our capacity to effectively provide lasting housing solutions and increased stability for local families and individuals.”
According to the Federal Reserve, the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter; the median net worth of a homeowner is over $230K while the median net worth of a renter is $5,200. Habitat’s mission was founded on homeownership, knowing it is a critical driver to build generational wealth and a leading indicator of strong health and education outcomes.
Clallam County CEO Colleen Robinson says, “As a rural Habitat Affiliate to be recognized with this gift is incredible. The impact of Ms. Scott’s donation to our community will be immediate and the investment will aid in our ongoing work to provide affordable housing to families across our rural communities. Our commitment to meaningful solutions to generational housing issues will be aided immeasurably by this significant gift, and we will use this funding to continue our mandate to build relationships and community through building and repairing homes for the people of Clallam County.”
With the help of volunteers, donors and supporters, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability, and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and for their families. This investment in affordable housing from Ms. Scott will greatly impact our region, as the Habitat affiliates in Clallam, Pierce, King, Kittitas, and Thurston Counties work to expand capacity, bringing people together and building a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
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About Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King and Kittitas Counties
Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King and Kittitas Counties is committed to building the region’s quality of life, health, and economic prosperity by producing, preserving, and advocating for affordable homeownership – because homes and families are the foundation of thriving communities. Habitat for Humanity brings people together as volunteers, homeowners, and community members to create strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. To learn more visit www.habitatskc.org.
About Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity
A neighborhood builder since 1985, Habitat for Humanity builds homes in Pierce County, partnering with families in need. As active participants in building a better future for themselves and their families, Habitat homebuyers make a minimal down payment and contribute sweat equity in building their home, then pay an affordable mortgage. To learn more, visit tpc-habitat.org.
About South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity (Thurston County)
South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Founded in 1989, the organization works throughout Thurston County building affordable homes, providing critical home repairs and neighborhood revitalization. Habitat for Humanity provides families with the opportunity to transform their lives, gaining the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better future. To learn more, visit www.spshabitat.org.
About Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County
Housing is health care! HFH Clallam County has built 36 homes since 1991 partnering with families so their dream of homeownership becomes a reality. We continue to seek opportunities to collaborate with local businesses, churches and other non-profits to serve our community in multiple ways; such as work-force training, home repair program to preserve our aging housing stock and aging in place to assist seniors to stay in their homes safely. Habitat Clallam knows through shelter we empower. To learn more, go to www.habitatclallam.org.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.