WACO, Texas — In recent years, housing costs in McLennan County have increased exponentially.
Meanwhile, though, the wages of many households have not, making it hard for families to afford a place to call home.
However, philanthropist and a co-founder of Amazon, MacKenzie Scott, aims to end such difficulties.
Through a charitable donation, she plans on giving back to Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity International, and 83 U.S. Habitat affiliates.
The total donation will be about $436 million in unrestricted use from Scott herself.
From this grand total, Waco's chapter will receive $1 million.
“Our goal is to leverage the funds with local donations so that we can make affordable housing available for more families in our community," said John Alexander, executive director of Waco Habitat for Humanity.
"Our biggest challenge right now is finding affordable lots where we can build homes,
"This gift will help us to meet that challenge."
Many of the families that are aided by Waco Habitat for Humanity have incomes that can't keep up with the pace of rising housing costs.
To combat this, it now has a housing program that grants these families zero-interest mortgages.
An opportunity, that for many of them, will be their first shot to purchase a home at an affordable cost possible.
This large donation will also give the organizations a greater chance to fulfill their vision.
A vision of a society where everyone is given equitable access to a home that is "safe, decent, and affordable."
Habitat of Humanity International intends on using its $25 million to address systemic racism in housing.
This agenda will include initiatives and other efforts to dismantle said inequality by advocating for policies and legislation that will enable affordable housing to millions.
The organization will also run a campaign that will invest heavily in 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.