Habitat for Humanity of Summit County will use the gift to address the affordable housing shorting in Summit County

Akron, OH (March 22, 2022) – Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, 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 for Humanity of Summit County received the largest single gift in its 36 year history.  This transformational donation will substantially help further Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has equitable access to a safe, decent and affordable place to call home.  

“We are elated to be a part of this substantial, once-in-a-lifetime gift from MacKenzie Scott.  We know that 1 in 9 households in Ohio spends more than 50% of their income on their living costs and that Summit County has a need for over 11,000 units of affordable housing.  While this gift will help our affiliate build more homes and repair more homes, we envision the significance this gift will provide to families in our community seeing a dream to own a home come true,” said Rochelle Sibbio, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Summit County.  

Over the next several years, Habitat for Humanity of Summit County will use this donation to leverage other gifts and continue moving forward with the Imagine Impact campaign that was launched in 2020.  The vision was to increase production over 5 years to 75 new homes built, 150 homes repaired, 1,000 lives changes, and mobilize 10,000 volunteers in the mission.  While the pandemic impacted the campaign, this gift will help it get back on track to completion and assisting with the rising cost of building materials.  

“Habitat for Humanity of Summit County has worked closely with the City of Akron on the Planning to Grow Akron 2.0 housing plan.  As we deploy this gift in the community we will continue to work with the city as well as other municipalities in Summit County to identify available land for development.  In 2023 we will partner with the City of Akron on a development in North Hill which will be a minimum of 15 homes.  Families in our community have benefited from the 15 year Real Estate Tax Abatement in the City of Akron on new home construction.  Using this tax abatement keeps the already zero-interest mortgage of Habitat for Humanity home program more affordable for low-income families,” said Sibbio.  

Habitat International will use its portion of the gift, $25 million to prioritize advocacy and programmatic efforts designed to dismantle systemic racism in housing.   Specifically, the donation will allow Habitat to advocate for policy proposals and legislation that enable millions of people access affordable housing through its Cost of Home advocacy campaign; increase Black homeownership in the U.S. by targeting current systemic barriers 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.”

About Habitat for Humanity of Summit County

Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry works in partnership with people in need to improve the condition in which they live. Habitat challenges people of compassion to provide the initial capital – through gifts and no-interest loans – to build simple, decent homes with the inadequately sheltered. Habitat has built over 218 homes in Summit County since they started building in 1986. For information about Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, call 330-745-7734 or visit HFHSummitCounty.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 affiliates 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.