Brad Pitt Just Got Sued Over His Effort to Help New Orleans

Homes built by the actor's foundation after Hurricane Katrina are falling apart, says lawsuit
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2018 5:55 AM CDT
New Orleans Residents Sue Brad Pitt Over Shoddy Homes
In this Dec. 1, 2008, file photo, Brad Pitt walks in the Lower 9th Ward between a home built by the Make It Right Foundation and a FEMA trailer in New Orleans.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – Brad Pitt earned a lot of admiration in New Orleans when his Make It Right Foundation began building affordable homes for residents in the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. The goodwill might be gone. Two residents sued the foundation Friday, and the proposed class-action suit makes a simple claim: The homes are falling apart, reports NBC News. Residents have raised a litany of issues—mold, rotting plywood, electrical and plumbing problems, bad ventilation, you name it. In fact, one of the homes—they sold for an average of $150,000—had to be demolished this summer, notes the AP. Local station WWL reports that Pitt's foundation sued a wood manufacturer in 2015, alleging that the company refused to replace defective wood.

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“While the citizens of the 9th Ward are grateful to Brad Pitt, they were forced to file this lawsuit because the Make It Right Foundation built substandard homes that are deteriorating at a rapid pace while the homeowners are stuck with mortgages on properties that have diminished values,” says attorney Ron Austin. “We have filed to make Make It Right make it right.” The foundation, which built about 110 distinctive, brightly colored homes, spent about $12,000 each on 30 homes in 2014 to replace rotting lumber, and Pitt himself expressed satisfaction with the project as recently as 2015. "I get this swell of pride when I see this little oasis of color and the solar panels," he told the Times-Picayune. "I say, 'What's your utility bill?' And they'll throw something out like, '24 bucks' or something, and I feel fantastic." (Read more Brad Pitt stories.)

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