Remember after Hurricane Katrina when Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation pledged to help rebuild environmentally friendly houses in the Lower 9th ward of New Orleans? Well, it turns out those houses weren’t built all that well.
Four years ago, residents of the newly built homes sued the superstar actor and others involved in the foundation for a breach of contract, fraud, building practices and defective design, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
Now, the Make It Right Foundation has agreed to pay the owners of the homes $20.5 million. While only six homeowners were named in the lawsuit, the settlement will apply to all 107 homeowners unless they decide to opt out of the payment, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
From The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate:
Pending approval by a judge, each of the 107 Make It Right homeowners will be eligible to receive $25,000 as reimbursement for previous repairs made by the owners.
After attorney’s fees are paid, the rest of the money would be divided up according to the problems that are present in each of the avant-garde structures, which have been beleaguered by leaks, rot and other defects.
The settlement papers point out that responsibility for the defects to the homes has been “vigorously” contested.
The funds will be handled by Global Green, a nonprofit organization based in California that is “devoted to ecological concerns.” They will pay out the $20.5 million to homeowners, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
Twice before this settlement, Pitt’s foundation acknowledged that there were problems with the homes they built. In 2015, they sued the makers of the wood they used for $500,000 because the water-resistant wood they used did not work against the water, according to reports.
In 2018, the attorneys for the foundation sued their managing architect, John C. Williams, for the defects that were going on in all of the homes. Three years later, the foundation also sued many officials for their management of the project, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.