Brad Pitt is helping the Sioux and Assiniboine American Indian tribes of Fort Peck, Montana by building sustainable green homes for underprivileged families within their reservation.
The project is part of his charity organization Make It Right, which has already built 150 homes in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina; as well as many others throughout the United States.
In Fort Peck, more than 600 people are currently waiting for homes. The project aims to build 20 brand new LEED-platinum certified homes to fill that need – focusing first on families with income levels below 60 percent of the area’s average, seniors and disabled veterans.
The homes, featuring solar power and reclaimed materials, will have three to four bedrooms and two to three bathrooms.
To make sure that the homes were not only environmentally conscious but also respectful of the tribes’ customs and heritage, Make It Right met with tribal leaders last year for design meetings. In it, aspects like the round shape of homes, its traditional colors and placement of doors were discussed and incorporated into the architects’ plans.
“This is the first time in 130 years that anyone has asked us, ‘What do you want your home to look like?’” said Dr. Ryan, Fort Peck Tribes cultural expert and historian.
The homes will not be a gift, however. Families will participate in a low income housing tax credit’s “rent to own” program that will transfer the house to the resident’s name after 15 years of renting.
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