Brad Pitt‘s Make It Right Foundation has struck a $20.5 million settlement with owners of post-Hurricane Katrina homes the actor’s foundation initially built and sold to affected families below cost but ultimately drew attention for the homes’ poor conditions after the families moved in.
The settlement calls for Global Green, an environmental non-profit organization that was not part of the 2018 class action lawsuit, to foot the bill on behalf of Pitt’s foundation. The preliminary settlement agreement – which still requires the court to sign off on – will aim to resolve outstanding issues in the litigation over homes Make It Right developed in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Global Green will fund a program to rectify defects in the homes and resolve the litigation.
“I am incredibly grateful for Global Green’s willingness to step up and provide this important support for the Lower Ninth families,” Pitt said. “We collaborated in the early days post-Katrina and we are very fortunate to have Global Green’s generous continuing commitment to help address the challenges around these homes and others in need. Hopefully this agreement will allow everyone to look ahead to other opportunities to continue to strengthen this proud community in the future.”
Pitt and Global Green’s connection goes as far back as 2006. The Oscar-winning actor is among a long list of celebrities listed as an advocate on the organization’s website, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Pine, Natalie Portman, Willie Nelson and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Pitt started the Make It Right Foundation in 2007 in an effort to aid in the environmentally friendly rebuilding of the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina decimated the area in 2005, when more than 1,800 people died after a staggering number of levees failed and caused devastating floods and destruction.
The foundation set out a goal to build 150 homes that were also equipped with solar panels to help significantly reduce energy costs. The foundation went so far as enlisting the help of famed architects like Frank Gehry and Shigeru Ban, to help Make It Right build eco-friendly, affordable green homes.
Make It Right homeowner Leslie Archie, an elementary school teacher, had lived in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward for 45 years before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, leaving her house demolished. She was ultimately forced to live in a FEMA trailer that she parked on her brother’s driveway for several years until Make It Right put her and her daughter and three grandchildren in a new home.
But the success stories soon dissipated, and reports surfaced that the homes the foundation created were built in such poor condition that roofs caved in, wood rotted, and walls collapsed. A source told ET back in 2018 that Pitt was still taking his responsibilities seriously when it came to building these eco-friendly homes.
Fast forward to now, a source tells ET that Pitt promised to follow up and address the issues that have come up over the years. The source added, “Thanks to the generosity of Global Green, Brad was able to coordinate and facilitate a resolution with a well-trusted organization that’s providing capital to help these homeowners.”
The source continued, “Brad looks forward to the opportunities this agreement will provide to strengthen this proud community.”
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