Brad Pitt Gifts Nawlins With Some Houses

September 27th, 2007 // 19 Comments

Nice guy. Brad Pitt announced at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference that he’s planning on spending 5 million to build some houses in Katrina-devastated areas of New Orleans. He’s teaming with millionaire tycoon Steven Bing (think fought with Liz Hurley over paternity and dated Nicole Kidman), who is also pledging 5 mil. to the cause. I’m devastated, can I have a house?

The endeavor is the first program in Pitt’s new Make It Right project, which aims to revive the community and culture of one of New Orleans’ poorest neighborhoods, which was wiped out in September 2005 when floodwaters breached the levees and engulfed the city.

Pitt appeared at the third annual gathering of former president Bill Clinton’s nonprofit foundation, which seeks to bring together global leaders to work toward solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. The Ocean’s Thirteen star challenged attendees to support his campaign to make New Orleans livable again for displaced residents, many of whom don’t have the money to rebuild.

Brad and Bing plan to make 150 homes available, complete with financial planning so buyers don’t incur huge debt. Brad and Angie purchased a house in New Orleans last January. And they’re always going on about how cool it is so why the hell are they in NYC making a hubbub at the kindergarden? There’s no fancy schools in Nawlins? Still, this is hot of Brad.


By J. Harvey

  1. Zekers

    Well, I don’t know how “hot” it is of him/them, but Lord knows NOLA needs the help so I tip my hat to them for their efforts.

  2. Nola

    What?? the storm didn’t hit in September 2005…it was AUGUST 28,2005 believe me I was there

  3. nastybugger

    unlike Paris’ “halfway house” that she said she was going to build, I have a feeling THIS will actually happen.

  4. green cardigan

    Hat’s off to Brad. This is pretty impressive.

    In fact, I am on my knees with my forehead pressed to the floor in awe !

  5. Zekers

    Nola: are you still in NOLA? What’s your take on the re-building or lack there of? I’d be very interested to hear what you have to say…

  6. mem

    Hot would be giving the homes away. $5 million is nothing to Brad.

  7. Obviously, I’m not Nola, but I do live in uptown New Orleans.

    It’s better and worse than most think. Parts of the city are functioning fairly well. East New Orleans is still an unholy mess, with piles upon piles of debris. But really, that’s not the big issue facing the city right now.

    In August 2007 alone, we had 29 murders. Within a one-mile radius of where my boyfriend and I live, more than 1,300 felonies have been committed since January 1, 2007.

    It’s hard to rebuild when violence is so rampant, our police are understaffed, our DA is both corrupt and racist, and our mayor is an incompetent moron who spends more time hob-nobbing in Jena to get TV time next to Sharpton and Jackson than actually trying to spark the rebuilding effort.

    If New Orleans survives the critical post-hurricane decade that most areas badly hit by hurricanes face (think Miami, post-Andrew), it will be in spite of people like Nagin.

    What Pitt and Bing (despite his generally douchey ways) and others like them are doing is incredibly helpful. I know a musician who is moving into a shotgun home in Musicians’ Village in December – he lost everything to Katrina, and has been struggling ever since.

    This place has quite a ways to go.

  8. peachpie

    Caitrin: Thanks very much for sharing your insights on NOLA with the rest of us. It’s always incredibly refreshing to hear some empirical evidence of what’s going on down there. One can never quite believe what they see on tv *gasp* and read in the papers *double gasp*. My hat’s off to YOU, Caitrin, for stickin’ it out down there and hanging on to what you believe in.

  9. Zekers

    Precisely why I asked peachpie, we can’t trust what we get from the news. Thank you Caitrin (love your name) for sharing and as peachpie said, kudos for hanging in there, you and your man must love the area to stay, so I’m thinking there are more folks like you and it HAS to get better…and yeah, that mayor Nagin, my sympathies on that situation as well. Another question: what’s the real deal on the levees? Are they improving?

  10. Carol

    In answer to two posters’ questions:

    Brad and Family are living in NYC now while he shoots a movie in New Jersey with George Clooney called State of Play.

    If you listen to Brad’s speech at the Clinton Initiative yesterday, he said the levees were in atrocious shape and they have not been maintained for years and continue to be neglected so another hurricane will cause the same damage again. He was a bit nervous at first, but got into it as he kept speaking. He did say this is just the beginning of his work there and there would be more as time goes on.

  11. Carol

    Sorry. I made a mistake. Brad is shooting Burn After Reading with Clooney in New Jersey now while he and the family live in NYC. I think State of Play will be one of his next movies to be filmed. Ed Norton co-stars in that one. It was just announced recently in Variety.

  12. The real deal on the levees is this – there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    It’s true that engineering flaws doomed the levees from the start. It’s also true that the levee boards are generally fairly corrupt and line lots o’ pockets with federal maintenance money.

    However…most states in the U.S. have levee systems with similar design flaws (think about the Chernobyl reactor that failed – did you know that many more were built of the same design throughout eastern Europe when the Soviet Bloc was so huge?). Scary, huh?

    Simply put, the levees were doomed from the start, and the corrupt levee officials likely relied on the unnatural state of grace in which NOLA existed (i.e., not getting hit by a storm head-on in forty years) to protect them.

    If a storm hits us as we stand now, this city will be gone. If longterm changes aren’t made to the levee system, the wetlands will disappear, too. My friend is a coastal geologist who specializes in erosion, and she’s exhausted from the field work that she does for the USGS, trying to bring awareness to the bigger issue of the coastline’s rapid disappearance.

  13. essie

    You folks in NOLA have yourselves a fine mayor!!! He makes Bush look intelligent!! I know it’s difficult, but hang in there. It’s makes me cry when I think of that beautiful city.

  14. Nagin is the ultimate douchecrite. He’s full of soundbites and rhetoric, and seemingly little else. He seems to run the city through this uber-laissez faire approach that isn’t helping much.

    Have I mentioned how much I dislike the man?

  15. kim

    caitrin, thanks for sharing. we are ALL so isolated since our media is useless. thank god for the internet that helps us see what’s really going on.

    NOLA is one of the most culturally important cities in the country and it’s DISGUSTING how it’s been screwed by politicians, both local and national.

    i’ve got my hands full with 2 wee ones, but i will be visiting—for the first time—as soon as they are older. i cant wait!

  16. Loob

    “If a storm hits us as we stand now, this city will be gone.”

    That’s what I don’t get. New Orleans was so beautiful, so it’s a tragic loss,
    but will it ever really be the safe and smart thing, to rebuild and continue to live there? I’m afraid for the people, and all their pets who perished last time.

  17. Ugh

    Of course he announced it. People who do good from the heart never want attention for it, people who do it for attention will announce it. I had a home in New Orleans and yes, it needs help, but it needs to start with the mayor who was one of the first to get out of dodge, and the people who are from there should go back and help but the majority don’t.

  18. Nola

    I had this long message written responding to every negative point made above, but then I decided to not post it.

    I just want to say the following…There are a lot of great things going on here and there are a lot of bad things going on here, just as there are everywhere. NOLA does not have a corner on corruption, murder and incompetent government.

    Help rebuild or get the hell out of the way

  19. Nola is absolutely right. Is it a mess? Yes.

    But I love the hot mess that is my adopted hometown.

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