Thousands of celebrities support numerous charities and organisations close to their heart and use their money to try and change the world for the better. Celebrity philanthropy ranges from climate change and healthcare to poverty, education, and war, to name a few. Their philanthropic efforts have also extended to social housing and construction. We have compiled here a handful of celebrities that have invested in affordable housing for the public. Have a look at how generous they have been!
#1 George Lucas
Star Wars creator George Lucas had originally planned to build a production studio in affluent Marin County, San Francisco Bay, California. He was met with protests and angry opposition by the local residents, who were worried about increased pollution and traffic, with damage to the local environment. Lucas scrapped the project in favour of building affordable housing. He generously footed the $150 million bill himself, with the houses being allocated to working class people such as teachers and nurses.
#2 Brad Pitt
In the aftermath of the New Orleans devastation due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Brad Pitt donated $16 million working to rebuild destroyed homes. Through the ‘Make It Right’ foundation, 109 environmentally friendly and sustainable homes were build in the worst hit part of New Orleans. They are positioned a considerable distance away from the ground to prevent the homes from flooding in the future, in the event of another hurricane. The most recent hurricane to hit the USA – Hurricane Harvey, has shown further philanthropy by celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Ellen DeGeneres, donating money to help those who have lost their homes due to flooding.
#3 David Beckham and Michael Eavis
Earlier this year, David Beckham opened a social housing site for affordable homes in Somerset, with Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis. Work began at the end of 2016, with thirteen planned homes under construction, costing Michael Eavis approximately £100,000 per year. Twenty-two affordable homes have already been constructed, and by 2020, Eavis hopes that there will be 50 homes standing altogether. The homes will be available for families to rent and for Glastonbury Festival workers.
#4 George Weston
George Weston, CEO of Associated British Foods, has donated in excess of £97 million through the Garfield Weston Foundation. Set up in 1958 and named after Weston’s grandfather, the foundation is a family-founded grant making trust that supports UK charities.
Housing corporations are regularly supported through this trust and one such example is that of the city of Sunderland. £75,000 was awarded to Homelessness Outreach and Hostel In-Reach services in the city. They help disadvantaged individuals have access to housing, employment and healthcare.
#5 Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora and Mark Noble
Football stars Ferdinand, Zamora and Noble, each grew up on council estates and know from first-hand experience, the consequential effects of affordable housing shortages. The trio ‘pledged to give something back to the community’, later unveiling plans for social housing near Luton, worth £400 million. They encouraged private investors to invest in homes where all kinds of ball games are permitted. 1,300 homes are to be constructed, with sports facilities, a leisure centre, creche and a swimming pool.
Millions of pounds in excess continue to be donated by famous people to the construction of affordable housing and this list is certainly not exhaustive. The shortages of social housing for the public is always going to be an issue, but we can rest assured that the philanthropic efforts of the stars will not cease.