MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated a whopping $20 million to the San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT), an affordable housing nonprofit that focuses on cooperative ownership of low-to-moderate income housing.
In a press release issued Wednesday, the nonprofit called the donation monumental, exemplifying “a shared commitment to addressing the housing affordability crisis that is crippling the Bay Area.”
The organization also announced the launch of a $60 million capital campaign in order to “maximize the impact” of Scott’s donation.
“The time to act is now before the predicted ‘real estate apocalypse’ makes all Bay Area land and housing so astronomically expensive,” Saki Bailey, the nonprofit's executive director, said in a statement. “The Bay Area is in dire need of housing solutions like the [community land trust] provides to collectively secure their housing futures. Let us seize this opportunity together, bolstered by Ms. Scott’s generosity.”
First founded in 2001, the community land trust has advocated for, and benefited from, legislation such as the Community Opportunity To Purchase Act and the Small Sites Program, which encourage tenants to buy out their landlords and form cooperative ownership of their buildings. The nonprofit also announced the opening of 1130 Filbert St., an apartment complex in Russian Hill acquired by the trust in 2022. That acquisition was a milestone for both the land trust and the Small Sites Program as the program’s first acquisition in one of the city’s wealthiest areas.
“Without the intervention of SFCLT, this property would have likely been converted into luxury condos or Tenancies in Common (TICs),” the organization said in their release.
The billionaire has committed to giving the bulk of her wealth to charity, having given more than $14 billion to over 1,600 charities since 2020. Those gifts included a $133.5 million donation to the educational nonprofit Communities in Schools.
Scott reportedly has a net worth of over $36 billion, having received a 4% stake in Amazon when she ended her marriage to the online retail mogul.
Mike Ege can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org