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In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt vowed to build 150 new "green" homes for low income families that lost their houses in the natural disaster. Pitt's Make It Right Foundation began building homes in 2008 with the help of celebrity donations and two award-wining architects, but to date, only 110 have been built, and they haven't been built well.
Many residents have reported sagging porches, mildewing wood and leaky roofs. One was famously demolished last year. Homes that were supposed to withstand thirty years of hurricane weather have barely made it five. Numerous Make It Right homeowners are now gathering to sue Pitt's Make It Right Foundation, claiming their Lower Ninth Ward homes are uninhabitable, reporting sicknesses, headaches, and infrastructure issues.
The Foundation claims that they are aware of the dilapidation claims, and have been trying to work with the homeowners on a case-by-case basis. To date, it is unclear how many Make it Right homeowners plan to join this impending suit. Understandably, many residents that were afforded a home under this plan feel fortunate to have received one, and they don't want to appear ungrateful. As one resident, who is not joining the lawsuit, said "I don't know what the future is going to bring with this house or everybody else's house, but it's going downhill now."
Absent any contracts signed to the contrary, Make It Right homeowners are afforded the same benefits and protections as all homeowners, even though they purchased their homes with donated money at below-market-prices. They can sue under a variety of laws including negligence, breach of contract, breach of warranty, strict liability, and misrepresentation. Once the Make It Right homeowners' lawsuit is filed, more will be known about specific causes of actions, damages, and remedies sought.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.