Homes built in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward by Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation are rotting.
The foundation built at least 100 eco-friendly homes in one of the hardest hit neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Building materials didn’t contain harmful chemicals, which left some exposed to the harmful effects of the Crescent City’s rain and humidity.
Some homes built with TimberSIL wood are rotting, despite the company’s claim that it uses non-toxic ingredients to protect the lumber from rot.
"We noticed the wood started turning a dark, dark gray and then also mushrooms started growing through the wood. And you could tell different parts of the porch was like, coming apart," homeowner Nola Verrett told WDSU.
Only 30 of the homes used TimberSIL and not all of them are seeing rot.
A spokesperson for Make It Right said the absence of chemical treatment left the wood “unable to withstand moisture, which obviously is a big problem in New Orleans."
The foundation will replace the lumber int he 30 homes effected. It estimates the replacement project will cost $150,000. They are also considering legal action.
The incident hasn’t hurt the foundation’s popularity among area residents.
"One thing I can say about Make It Right, they always make it right. And if there's a problem they take care of it. So we love them," one of them tells WDSU. Adds another, "They're going to replace it. They ain't no trouble."
"I thank God for Brad Pitt and Make It Right foundation," said 75-year-old Gloria Guy, despite the wood rot in her home.
"They're going to replace it. They ain't no trouble," she said.
"One thing I can say about make it right, they always make it right,” Verret said. “And if there's a problem they take care of it. So we love them.”