In response to the destruction wreaked on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt created his Make It Right foundation, pledging to build sustainable, affordable, environmentally friendly new homes to replace those that were destroyed when the levees breached and flooded the Lower Ninth Ward.
Now 13 years later, a report in the Daily Mail claims some of the houses built by Make It Right need some more work.
But a source close to the Make It Right organization insists that Pitt remains committed to the foundation’s efforts. “In addition to personally being there, he continues to dedicate significant time and financial support to this project,” said the source. “This is an ongoing project for both Make It Right and for Brad — who has personally donated his time and millions of his own dollars to ensure the community is revitalized and the project continues as scheduled.”
Responding to the Mail’s claims, the source explained that after the 10-year anniversary of Katrina, MIR leaders “conducted an internal review to make sure they were meeting their high standards,” adding that “steps are being taken to remedy issues in homes that did not meet these standards.”
This, the source maintains, “is a totally normal process,” pointing out that “as with any organization, specifically one working on construction of homes, there are bound to be some problems and challenges, but Make It Right is working to remedy any issues.”
HGTV Canada’s Mike Holmes was also involved with Pitt on the project (Holmes held the trademark for Make It Right prior to Pitt launching the foundation, but decided instead of taking legal action he would join forces with Pitt and lend his own homebuilding expertise to the foundation’s efforts in New Orleans). Holmes’ construction work in the Lower Ninth Ward was chronicled for a 2009 television special.
In a statement provided to ET Canada, a rep for Holmes explains that his association with Pitt’s Make It Right foundation was limited to building one house in the neighbourhood.
“Mike Holmes’ team built one house in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans in the summer of 2008 which was verified as a LEED Platinum Home,” reads the statement. “It was Mike’s hope that the house his team built would become an example of the type of home-building the charity and the other building partners would replicate in the Lower Ninth. We have been in touch with the homeowner since and she continues to be happy with the house. We are saddened to hear that there are ongoing issues with some of the other homes. However, since our initial involvement in 2008, we have had no association with the Make It Right charity.”
ET Canada has reached out to Pitt’s rep for comment.