There are some things you can’t make up. There are not many that would accuse Brad Pitt and the Make it Right Foundation he helped establish of purposefully providing modular homes that have been drawing negative media attention for the last few years. It seems like a fit for the dark adage, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
That said, several home owners have been complaining to local and national media. Some have filed suit. The local news video below, which tees up the issue, was cut shortly before the case was filed.
NBC News filed the following video report.
Pitt Says, No Not Me…
Pitt is asking to be separated from the foundation he founded for the purposes of this suit, per media reports.
“Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation, which built homes for New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their neighborhoods in 2005, has been hit with a lawsuit by two people who claim the homes built for them “were deficiently constructed and built,” according to People.
In a statement provided to People, Brad Pitt’s charitable organization, the Make It Right nonprofit, stated that it “has filed a lawsuit against its former executive architect, John Williams, and his firm for monetary damages to remediate and repair affected homes in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, arising from his engagement with the Foundation. Make It Right continues to work proactively with homeowners in the Lower 9th Ward, and we will make no further comment on the case at this time,” on Sept 25, 2018.
The Daily Business News on MHProNews notes that The Make It Right foundation website reflects no updates to their own blog since late 2015. Given that fact, it is no surprise that our requests for comments to the nonprofit have not yet been answered.
As industry professionals already know, a modular home – not unlike a manufactured home – requires proper installation. As a prior report, linked further below under related reports reflects, problems that are not promptly observed or addressed on a factor-built home can rapidly mushroom into other issues. That isn’t necessarily a reflection on the factory-builder, unless the production company was directly involved with the installation.
Similar points could be made about conventional housing, issues must be addressed rapidly, or they can mushroom. Far costlier conventional housing builders have had their own numerous tales of construction woes, so was is it a surprise when it happens from time to time with factory-built housing too?
Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
ABC News did the following exposé about the host of problems found in the conventional “site-built” housing industry. The above is one of many such videos. See another example in a local news video, below. This isn’t to pick on what D.R. Horton, or any other conventional ‘site-builder.’
So, the problems noted in this case or others shouldn’t be viewed by discerning minds as something that necessarily disproves the inherent value and need for various kinds of affordable housing built indoors, and transported for installation to their final location. Exceptions don’t prove much, save that people and products aren’t perfect. Automakers have recalls, builders have problems too.
In the Beginning, How Pitt Got Involved
“When Brad Pitt visited New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward two years after Hurricane Katrina, he was shocked by the lack of rebuilding progress in this historic, working class community. Many worried the plight of the neighborhood would be forgotten. In a bold move, Pitt committed to help rebuild in the hardest hit area of the city,” per Make it Right.
Pitt’s foundation has reportedly raised $30 million dollars in this work, but the homes in New Orleans were purchased by its home owners, who may have used insurance or other money to buy the home.
What is ironic is that Make It Right has a Clinton Foundation connection, per their own website, not unlike the work done by Clayton Homes in Haiti. That too was a troubling fiasco.
“Make It Right kicked off initial fundraising efforts with the Pink Project in December 2007 and broke ground on the first homes with President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative in March 2008. Construction began in June 2008 and the first six homes were completed in August 2008,” said their foundation.
The “…class action lawsuit against Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation was moved from civil to federal court on November 7,” said Archpaper. Pitt’s and the foundation’s legal team are suing the architects. “Actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation has sued the architect of scores of homes the nonprofit sold to Lower 9th Ward residents who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina.”
Among the troubling points with this scenario is that the news seems to be drawing far more media coverage than the arguably more prevalent issue of defects or other problems found in conventional, site-built construction.
If that slant is so, then it is but the latest example of how misinformation is being allowed to spread, because industry trade groups such as MHI – which claims to represent all aspects of factory built housing, including modular builders – Clayton, and their Berkshire Hathaway parent’s BH Media group each allow such stories to go unaddressed.
That in turn, as Rolfe and scores of others suggest, is harmful to the industry at the local level, including locations like yours. The pattern will arguably continue until MHI – or some new trade group that supplants their work – does what former chairman, Tim Williams himself admitted to MHProNews, in the quote below.
It is all part of what our publisher, while still an MHI member, was praised for by the organization, namely, the need to routinely engage the media. They can’t plausibly claim ignorance. So what is MHI’s excuse for not acting as needed, to defend and promote the industry’s products and image?
To learn more, see the related reports, further below. That’s factory-built housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##(News, analysis, and commentary.)
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(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
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