WORCESTER, Mass. - A $3.5 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott will help address the affordable housing shortage in the MetroWest and Greater Worcester area. 

Habitat for Humanity said it surprised them when they found out they received the money. They said it will help further their mission to build homes, communities, and hope for families in the area.  The organization will use the money over the next few years. Habitat for Humanity currently has five homes in the building process, including a three-unit home on Harrison Street in Worcester. 

“So this is a transformational donation for us, we are so excited,” Debbie Maruca Hoak, executive director for Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester. “It couldn’t come at a better time. Land prices are at such a premium right now, this is going to help us move forward with our builds and our home repairs over the next several years.” 

Executive board president Joseph Frank said, “And it enables us to leverage everything we have done in the past coming up to the present, and this is going to put forward moving to another strategic planning cycle to look forward the next three to five years.”

Scott donated $436 million to 84 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country.