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Brad Pitt’s foundation reaches settlement over Louisiana homes

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Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation reached a $20.5 million settlement over Louisiana homes on Tuesday.

The Times-Picayune’s The New Orleans Advocate reported on Wednesday that each of the program’s 107 homeowners will be eligible to receive $25,000 as reimbursement for previous repairs of the shoddy homes, pending an approval by the judge.

Pitt founded the venture in 2007 with the help of award-winning architects two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and essentially washed away what would become the Make It Right enclave.

Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation reached a settlement over Louisiana homes.
(Steve Granitz/WireImage)

The foundation began building the homes in 2008, eventually erecting 109 houses that provided residents the chance to return to the neighborhood they called home before the storm hit. The avant-garde dwellings were lauded as storm-safe, solar-powered, highly insulated and “green.”

BRAD PITT’S FOUNDATION FACING LAWSUIT OVER DEGRADATION OF NEW ORLEANS HOMES

The homes were priced at $150,000 to residents who received resettlement financing, government grants and donations from the foundation itself. The nonprofit, however, never met its goal of constructing 150 houses.

In the early stages, Pitt and his foundation was praised, but 10 years later, many residences are sharing complaints of sagging porches, mildewing wood and leaky roofs.

One of the modular houses built by the Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation is seen in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on February 5, 2013.

One of the modular houses built by the Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation is seen in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on February 5, 2013.
(TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

The Make It Right Foundation addressed the faulty flaws in architecture in the past. In 2015, Pitt’s charity sued the manufacturer of an ecologically friendly, water-resistant wood when the product did not withstand the Louisiana climate.

Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation built 109 homes for residents of New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward.

Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation built 109 homes for residents of New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward.
(Photo by Barry Lewis)

In 2018, the organization’s lawyers sued their own architect over design defects, and in 2021 they sued the former executive director, treasurer and other officials for reportedly mismanaging the project.

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In 2018, Pitt’s foundation was hit with a lawsuit by two residents, Lloyd Francis and Jennifer Decuir. Their lawyer, Ron Austin, shared a statement with NOLA.com at the time.

Brad Pitt speaks during a press conference to unveil the site and design of his Make It Right program on December 3, 2007.

Brad Pitt speaks during a press conference to unveil the site and design of his Make It Right program on December 3, 2007.
(Photo by Chris Graythen)

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“While the citizens of the Ninth 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,” Austin said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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