Yet again, we have another big swing and a miss from a Hollywood mogul.
Maybe Brad’s heart was in the right place, but the follow-through was clearly not.
A new report spells bad news for Pitt’s “Make it Right” campaign, which built over 100 “environmentally friendly” homes after Hurricane Katrina.
According to the bombshell report, the homes are now suffering from catastrophic defects, including rotting wood, mold and termites.
Looks like building for “sustainability” doesn’t work too well in the bayou.
Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation built 109 eye-catching and affordable homes in New Orleans for a community where many people were displaced by damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Now this housing development is in disarray. The vast majority of the recently constructed homes are riddled with construction-related problems that have led to mold, termites, rotting wood, flooding and other woes.
At least six are boarded up and abandoned. Many residents have filed lawsuits that are still pending. That is, a nonprofit that built houses with input from Frank Gehry and other prominent architects amid much fanfare for survivors of one disaster then ushered in another disaster.
Structural and other problems are making many residents fear for their health. Make It Right, despite what its name might suggest, has not resolved these issues and has stopped assisting residents. Instead, the movie star-led nonprofit has apparently become defunct.
As an urban geographer who researches on housing development, I’ve been following Make It Right’s travails since 2018, when residents tried to get the New Orleans City Council involved and have municipal authorities inspect the homes. The situation has only deteriorated since then, highlighting the perils that can accompany nonprofit housing development.
Sadly, this won’t surprise many people.
Celebrities have a reputation for doing things to grab a quick PR headline and push their pet projects and then they move on.
Many people believe the “Make it Right” charity was just that – a way for a large, Hollywood mogul to spread his environmentally conscious doctrine upon the poor suffering peasants, when what these people really needed were properly constructed homes.
Let’s hope Brad Pitt jumps into this mess and makes it right.
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