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Brad Pitt may be one of the world’s most charitable celebrities, but the international superstar’s efforts to help New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina is being criticized for shoddy construction.
Nola Verrett, who owns a home built by Pitt’s Make It Right charity, told RadarOnline that the home began rotting from the inside. “The wood turned gray and it was also black,” she told the site. “Also some parts it was buckling and it had mushrooms growing out of it. Different neighborhoods saw it too.”
Make It Right’s rep blamed the lumber from TimberSIL used to build the homes. Their lumber was guaranteed to last 40 years, but instead the lumber is rotting now. Make It Right will spend $150,000 to replace TimberSIL’s lumber. The lumber was used to make 30 houses between 2008 and 2010.
Spokeswoman Taylor Royle told The New Orleans Advocate that the lumber was picked as a green alternative. “In trying to be sustainable and green, we didn’t want to use decking lumber that had chemicals in it,” she said. However, “It was unable to withstand moisture, which obviously is a big problem in New Orleans.”
Royle said that Make It Right has now been using yellow pine wood since 2010.
“This usually doesn’t happen,” Royle told the Advocate. “Most of them work, and they’re great, and we’re always testing new products to see if they can help make the homes more sustainable, more affordable or both.”
Pitt did issue a short statement to the Advocate, saying that his charity admits that some of the unique material they try to use does not pan out as hoped. “Where we find innovative products that didn’t perform, we move quickly to correct these things for our homeowners,” the actor said.
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