Brad Pitt’s Foundation Reaches Settlement On Louisiana Houses

Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation and the owners of homes built by the program, in an area of ​​New Orleans, one of the hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, has reached a settlement. 20.5 million dollars.

The Times-Picayune’s The New Orleans Advocate reported Wednesday that, pending a judge’s approval, each of the program’s 107 homeowners will be eligible for $25,000 reimbursement for repairs. previous poor quality houses. According to the agreement reached on Tuesday night, the remaining amount will be divided according to the condition of each project.

This settlement represents an important milestone in the long story of homes haunted by leaks, decay and other defects.

In 2007, two years after Katrina devastated Louisiana’s most populous city, the Hollywood celebrity founded the organization that develops futuristic housing. The goal is to replace lost homes in the city’s flooded Lower Ninth with 150 energy-efficient, storm-safe pioneer homes. Homes are offered for an average of $150,000 to residents who receive relocation grants, government grants, and donations from the foundation itself.

The project was initially praised, but 10 years and more than $26 million later, construction was halted. Residents said the porch was sagging, moldy wood and a leaky roof.

Make It Right has admitted flaws in the architecture at least twice. First, in 2015, lawyers representing the organization sued the manufacturer of a water-resistant, eco-friendly wood for $500,000, when the product proved unsuitable for southern weather. Louisiana.

In 2018, Make It Right lawyers sued their own managing architect over what they said included millions of dollars in design flaws. In 2021, the organization also sued its former chief executive officer along with former treasurers and other officials, accusing them of mismanaging the project.

As residents’ complaints grew, they filed a class-action lawsuit against Make It Right in 2018. The lawsuit alleges that many homes were poorly built with inadequate materials. According to the lawsuit, some of the homes were damaged by the rain, which resulted in rotting, structural damage and mold. The lawsuit also lists heating failures, problems with cooling and ventilation systems, electrical malfunctions, and plumbing-related problems.

Tuesday’s settlement papers indicated that liability for defects to the homes had been “harshly” contested. Attorney Ron Austin, who is representing residents in the lawsuit against Pitt and his charity, framed the outcome on the terms between David and Goliath.

“This is one of those scenarios where the impossible becomes possible,” Austin said.

The distribution of settlement funds to individual homes will be overseen by Global Green, a California-based nonprofit that focuses on ecological concerns. The Times-Picayune’ The New Orleans Advocate has reached out to Global Green for comment.

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