Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh has received a $2 million donation from MacKenzie Scott, author, philanthropist, and ex-wife of Jeff Bezos. The gift is part of a $436 million donation by Scott to Habitat for Humanity International and 83 US Habitat affiliate organizations. Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County also received a gift of $1.25 million dollars.
Scott's nearly half-billion-dollar gift follows upon her gift of $4 billion in late 2020 to support organizations filling basic needs like food banks and some nonprofits addressing long-term systemic inequities deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, the YWCA of Ulster County received $1 million and was the only organization in the Hudson Valley to receive funding from Scott.
Habitat Newburgh will fund the development of future affordable homes with the money and also expand programs to provide more affordable housing opportunities for families. Costs of construction are at an all-time high and these funds will enable Habitat Newburgh to continue building high-quality homes. “We at Habitat Newburgh are extremely humbled by this gift," says Matthew Arbolino, executive director of Habitat Newburgh. "For 23 years, we have pushed the importance of affordable homeownership and the last few years have shown us that we need Habitat’s mission more than ever."
Since its founding in 1999, Habitat Newburgh has built 102 homes in one of the most distressed urban areas in the US, housing 126 families (318 children and 223 adults) earning between 30 to 80 percent of the area median income.