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Alcoa Supports Brad Pitt's "Make It Right" Project to Build Green Affordable Housing in New Orleans

Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation have announced support for Brad Pitt’s "Make It Right" (MIR) project to build green affordable housing on a large scale to help victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. An Alcoa Foundation grant of $150,000 was made to the Make It Right project today.

The MIR project - conceived by Pitt and a group of experts in New Orleans - is a large-scale redevelopment project for affordable housing that incorporates innovative design to be stronger, safer, and environmentally friendly. MIR’s goal is to construct 150 homes in the low-income neighborhood of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, the area hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in which more than 80 percent of homes were completely destroyed by flood waters. The name comes from a former resident's plea to help "make this right." Groundbreaking is scheduled for January 8, 2008.

The MIR core team is a partnership between William McDonough + Partners, a world leader in environmental architecture; Cherokee Gives Back Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Cherokee, a firm that specializes in remediation and sustainable redevelopment of environmentally impaired properties; Graft, an international leading architecture firm that collaborates with Brad Pitt on projects around the world; and the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, a charitable institution established to aid humanitarian causes around the world.

A key aspect of the project is its ability to be replicated. MIR is developing a panelization system in which structural insulated panels (SIPs) common to all designs are constructed and stored off site. This standardized system will maximize efficiency and minimize cost, allowing the housing design to be replicated throughout the neighborhood as well as promoting a new universal paradigm of affordable, environmentally responsible home design.

Alcoa Foundation will also support a community-based artistic event in New Orleans designed to raise MIR project funding on a broad scale. The “Make It Right Art Installation Project”—held from December 2, 2007, through January 8, 2008, and symbolically located at the site of the Industrial Canal levee break—is intended to raise local, regional, and national awareness of the issue and maximize overall fundraising to help MIR extend homebuilding benefits beyond the initial goal of rebuilding 150 homes. and

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