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Billionaire MacKenzie Scott donates $8.5 million to Austin nonprofit

During her divorce from Jeff Bezos, Scott received 4% of Amazon’s shares. (Elena Seibert)

Austin’s Habitat for Humanity has received a cool $8.5 million donation from philanthropist and ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott.

The donation is part of a huge $436 million sum given to Habitat for Humanity's International office and 84 Habitat affiliates around the country. According to the Austin Habitat board, the donation is the biggest the chapter has ever received.

Since 1985, Austin Habitat has built over 500 affordable homes in Central Texas and said it will use the money to buy land to build affordable housing in Travis and surrounding counties, especially in communities of color.

"This gift is beyond impactful for Austin Habitat for Humanity; it's transformational," Austin Habitat board treasurer Mason Ayers said in a news release. "It truly changes what we can achieve and the lives we can impact. We are extraordinarily thankful for MacKenzie Scott's generosity and the sweeping impact of her philanthropy."

The donation falls in line with Scott’s pledge to scatter the majority of her fortune, which she took in 2019 by signing the Warren Buffett Giving Pledge. Scott’s donation is her second-largest to date and the largest publicly disclosed from a billionaire, according to Associated Press.
Over the past two years, Scott has given away approximately $8 billion of her net worth, which sits at $48 billion, according to Forbes.


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.