Uh-Oh: Brad Pitt's NOLA Charity Houses Rotting

But Make It Right Foundation is making it right

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 1, 2014 10:58 AM CST

(Newser) – Brad Pitt got a lot of good press when he built a number of affordable, eco-friendly homes in New Orleans' devastated Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina ... but here comes the bad press. Some of the houses are starting to rot, and the wood will need to be replaced. "The wood turned gray and it was also black," one homeowner tells Radar. "Also some parts it was buckling and it had mushrooms growing out of it." Of the 100 houses built by Pitt's Make It Right Foundation, 30 used wood from TimberSIL, which claims to use non-toxic ingredients to prevent rot. Though not all 30 are yet rotting, all of them will have that wood replaced, the New Orleans Advocate reports.

The absence of chemicals in the wood apparently left it "unable to withstand moisture," says a Make It Right rep, "which obviously is a big problem in New Orleans." The wood was guaranteed for 40 years, but some of the homes in question were built as recently as three years ago, and the replacement project will cost Make It Right $150,000. The organization is considering legal action. But homeowners don't seem upset with Pitt: "One thing I can say about Make It Right, they always make it right. And if there's a problem they take care of it. So we love them," one of them tells WDSU. Adds another, "They're going to replace it. They ain't no trouble."

Brad Pitt poses for a photograph in the Lower 9th Ward as he visits the area where homes are being built for the Make It Right Foundation in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Actor Brad Pitt talks about his plan to build homes in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007.   (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Brad Pitt smiles after a news conference with Global Green USA at an environmentally friendly house under construction in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on Aug. 21, 2007.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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