WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 22, 2022) – Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. & Northern Virginia (Habitat DC-NOVA), along with Habitat for Humanity International and 83 U.S. Habitat affiliate organizations, recently received $436 million in unrestricted giving from American author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Of that, Habitat DC-NOVA received $3.5 million. 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.
“This gift, especially combined with our recent merger, is a force multiplier that will help us achieve our ambitious goals and serve over 1,000 families by 2030,” said Susanne Slater, co-President & CEO of Habitat DC-NOVA. “Ms. Scott’s donation reaffirms our mission and the vital importance of a stable, affordable place to live. As we strategically evaluate how to best implement this gift in our work, our goal is to maximize impact for our community and the families we serve.”
The recently merged Habitat DC-NOVA will leverage the $3.5 million donation to accelerate the impact of its affordable housing programs for families with low and moderate incomes. Specifically, the donation will be used to further Habitat DC-NOVA’s strategic priorities across the District and Northern Virginia, including significantly increasing affordable home production, expanding home repair services throughout Northern Virginia, and building organizational capacity to serve more families, particularly Black and other families of color facing systemic barriers to homeownership.
Nearly half of renters in the District and Northern Virginia spend more than 30 percent of their household income on housing, and rents continue to rise across the region. With this donation, Habitat DC-NOVA will be able to help more local families achieve stability and build intergenerational wealth and equity through affordable homeownership.
Habitat International will use its $25 million portion of the donation to prioritize advocacy and programmatic efforts designed to dismantle systemic racism in housing. The donation will allow Habitat to advocate for policy proposals and legislation that enable millions of people to access affordable housing through its Cost of Home campaign; increase Black homeownership in the U.S. through a new initiative that will launch this summer; and 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.”