Brad Pitt came to Make It Right after Hurricane Katrina… but it’s all going wrong as the neighbourhood he regenerated is falling apart.
The Hollywood star made it his project to rebuild the worst-hit area of New Orleans, The Lower Ninth, after the hurricane hit in 2005, however, 13 years on, and it seems the project has become a disaster with horrifying images showing rotting roofs, walls falling off, and leaking floorboards.
Bradd and the Make It Right charity – which he set up specifically for this project – have seemingly walked away from it all, with some blaming the breakdown of his marriage to Angelina Jolie.
Now residents fear that it may become a ghost town in the next decade, with concerns that property prices will fall into negative equity and owners will have to abandon their homes.
Being one of the first to lend a helping hand after Hurricane Katrina, Brad – who also owned a house in New Orleans – clearly had good intentions by setting up Make it Right to rebuild new and affordable homes for the community that featured cutting-edge designs supposedly meant to last.
Only the houses haven’t lasted, and now have serious structural flaws. Some homeowners who couldn’t afford to pay for the necessary repairs were lucky to escape before their homes completely rotted away – with the walls and roof collapsing.
“People have problems with porches, roofs, walls falling apart. There’s six out of seven homes right next to me that have had significant repairs, what is that telling you?” a resident said.
“They don’t get it, they should have seen the problem years ago after building the first few, which had major issues. Make It Right said that they would fix it, but it’s all talk.
“There’s staircases that have collapsed and a number have complained about rotting porches. If the repairs do happen, it’s evident from our photos that they’re putting new timber onto rotting wood, which means it’s not solving the structural issues.”
Despite Brad admitting to the local newspaper, The Times-Picayune in back in 2015 that the project was “incredibly naïve” after they planned to build 150 houses but only managed 100, he still deemed it a success that left him with a “well of pride” when he used to visit the area in the early days.
“Mr Pitt was always here, every turn, the place next to mine was their office, and we’d see him,” one resident said.
“He’s disappeared, he’s not helping people truly in need. There was a social and moral responsibility for Make It Right, we have been let down, some of us more than others.”
Brad has since sold his New Orleans property last year as part of divorce proceedings from Angelina, and residents claim the Make It Right have been “increasingly difficult” to contact.
“What is happening? Their website is ancient, it even advertises an address from years ago and they’re not building homes, they have pulled out effectively. When you talk to them about it, they say: ‘We’re not answering questions at this time.’ There’s been no communication for 18 months,” one homeowner said.
“I don’t even think Brad Pitt is affiliated anymore, we haven’t seen him for at least three years. In the first few years, he was always walking round the neighbourhood,” another resident claims.
However, Brad is still working to rectify the damage, according to Entertainment Tonight.
“After the 10-year anniversary of Katrina, the Make It Right leaders conducted an internal review to make sure they were meeting their high standards,” a source said. “Steps are being taken to remedy issues in homes that did not meet these standards.”
“In addition to personally being there, he continues to dedicate significant time and financial support to this project. Unlike others, he has poured more time and resources into fixing things, not less, and he never ran away.”