Brad’s going to have to do better to “drive new industry standards for green buildings.”
From Mercury News: Brad Pitt’s image as the architectural savior of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina’s destruction is being questioned in a new report that alleges that a number of homes built by his nonprofit in the Lower Ninth Ward are falling apart.
The report by the Daily Mail also suggests that the actor, in the wake of his nasty breakup from Angelina Jolie, has lost his passion for fulfilling his original commitment to build 150 affordable, durable and environmentally efficient homes.
The Daily Mail recently visited New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, where many homes belonging to black and low-income families were swept away after levees of the city’s industrial canal were breached during the hurricane 13 years ago.
Post-Katrina, the humanitarian-minded Pitt and Jolie swooped in to the city and bought their own elegant French Quarter mansion, while Pitt set up the nonprofit Make it Right to help regenerate the Lower Ninth Ward.
Architectural enthusiast Pitt, 54, promised the nonprofit would build 150 new homes using cutting-edge design that would emphasize safety and adherence to LEED platinum building standards.
Make it Right spent at a minimum of $25 million to build brightly painted, architecturally distinct homes that were sold to Lower Ninth Ward residents at a discount, though residents told the Daily Mail they cost around $150,000 each — or market value.
Now, residents are telling the Daily Mail that some of the homes didn’t live up to the promise offered by Pitt or by his nonprofit, saying that the homes contain structural flaws and are now falling apart.
Daily Mail published photos showing some of those homes, with roofs caving in, wood rotting and walls collapsing or falling away from the house. Some residents used their life savings, combined with federal relief funding, to buy the homes. But some found they couldn’t keep up with the repairs and have abandoned them, the Daily Mail added.
Resident Constance Fowler told the Daily Mail that her next-door neighborhoods in a Make it Right home had to move out because the wife was getting sick from the mold. Make it Right promised to renovate the house, but workers found its roof was beyond repair, Fowler said. The house was left unoccupied and rotting away. Fowler told the Daily Mail she had to repeatedly petition Make it Right and the city to tear it down.
“Make It Right says this is the largest green community in the United States,” Fowler said to the Daily Mail. “Look how many are boarded up now or abandoned.”
“People have problems with porches, roofs, walls falling apart,” she added. “There’s six out of seven homes right next to me that have had significant repairs.”
Another resident, Doris Wyman, said she and her husband Henry are only able to stay in their Make it Right home because Henry is a skilled handyman. “I’m concerned about neighbors’ homes,” she said. “Just because mine is holding up, I know others are falling apart, their walls, roofs and porches.”
Wyman said Make it Right may have brought people back to the Lower Ninth Ward, but ultimately failed in its mission if people can’t stay in their homes. She acknowledged that the intention probably was “beautiful” but asked, “Where did they go wrong?”
Read the whole story here.