according to Lawyers who disclosed the settlement In August 2022, all owners of more than 100 homes designed and built by Make It Right are entitled to $25,000 in damages for any prior repairs if a judge grants their request. The rest of the money will be distributed according to the severity of the problems experienced by the houses.
green worlda non-profit organization with ties to Brad Pitt and whose name was not named in the lawsuit, is said to be paying the money.
as a Urban geographer researching housing developmentI’ve been following Make It Right’s troubles since 2018, when residents tried to get New Orleans City Council on board and get municipal authorities to inspect homes. The situation has since deteriorated, highlighting the dangers that can accompany it Non-profit housing development.
The A non-profit residential developer whose mission It was to “improve the design and performance of affordable housing” and “to share best practices associated with building such homes”. correct it It did not achieve its original goal of building 150 housing units.
Make it right too He sought to activate the Lower Ninth Wing It brings people together. For example, she built a community garden and held regular meetings for new homeowners.
Although some of these structures are only a decade old, my data collected in late 2021 shows that only six of the original 109 structures remain in reasonably good condition. Most have either undergone partial repairs or have been completely renovated due to structural issues. Two were demolished Due to severe mold problems.
Many homes lack regular basic features, such as rain gutters, grooves, waterproof paint, or covered beams—all of which are necessary to withstand the city of New Orleans. Subtropical climate and heavy rainfall.
Pete’s lawyers argued he could not be sued for housing development failures, but a judge ruled in 2019 that the movie star remain a defendant Because of his role as founder of Make It Right and chief fundraiser.
‘Quite a mess’
I interviewed 14 residents, as well as 7 urban planning experts who worked on the case. In addition, it collected data on development and homes by reviewing New Orleans real estate appraisals and building permits. While living in Lower Ninth Ward myself, I personally took a development statistic and plotted its current state.
More than one resident told me that at first they were very excited to be part of something bigger.
A “Make It Right” resident called Harry – I promised all residents I met to remain anonymous – had to move out of his house during major renovations that didn’t solve all the problems he was facing.
“They got a second chance to make a mistake, not get it right again,” Harry told me. “They got it wrong twice.”
As of early 2022, six homes were vacant due to mold, mildew, flooding, and assorted structural issues. Hana, a young first-time homeowner, moved away from her Make It Right condo, which was later demolished.
Just eight months after moving in, Hanna told me that her home “was completely in ruins.” Its flat roof couldn’t withstand the torrential rains of New Orleans, causing massive water seepage and an infestation of termites and mold.
Hanna suffers from health problems caused by toxic mold. “I would say there’s always a positive side, but with this situation, I don’t really see a positive side because it changed so many of my plans that I had for myself in life,” she said.
Most residents I interviewed were dealing with a similar state of constant uncertainty.
They don’t know how long their home will last, whether the mold they’ve been exposed to affects their health, and worse, what will happen to their finances if they lose their home.
“There is no stopping this,” Harry said sadly. “I think sometimes I’m sitting on a ticking time bomb in this house.”
Others described being always “on the edge of a cliff”, the situation “extremely stressful”, and feeling “too extensively exploited”.
A web of legal turmoil
Some residents also blame the local authorities.
“We also have a problem with the city because those who are inspecting (the house) and are supposed to keep it safe, they haven’t,” said Claire, who tried to engage the New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits.