Jennifer Easton

We visited New Orleans with Make It Right, an organization that builds healthy, high-efficient and safe homes for people and communities in need.

Forty percent of LEED for Homes units fall into the affordable housing sector, and you can see 100 of them, brought to fruition by Make It Right, on display in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. 

No one knows the impact of Make It Right’s work better than the families living in these new Make It Right homes. 

"The Make It Right Foundation has provided me with a lot of greatness as far as making me comfortable in my own home," said homeowner Nancy Conerly.

"My favorite part of this now that we're at 100 houses here is that people came up the other day and said, instead of, oh, look at all these cool houses, they said, this is one of the coolest neighborhoods I've ever seen," said William McDonough, Chairman of McDonough Innovation and Founder or William McDonough + Partners.

"It's just great - great staff, they did a great job," said a Conerly family member. "This was a close knit neighborhood. So, just to see a lot of the same people back, it feels good."

"That's the greatest joy, besides having my children and my grand children and my great grands," said Conerly. "I'm just so glad to be back home."

It takes the leadership of staff and the hands of countless volunteers to bring these homes to fruition – and Make It Right has an incredible cadre of support.

"We pride ourselves as architects, designers, builders and manufacturers with leaving our thumbprints on our city and designing space for where we live and play and work," said Tim Conway, Vice President of Global Accounts at Shaw Industries. 

"It was about Make It Right in that we owe this community something, but it was also about Make it Right in that we could build homes, environments and communities that are made right, that provide great living spaces for people - and it's not about how much money you make or where you live or any of those things," said David Melancon, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Benjamin Moore & Co.

Make It Right’s supporters include all of those who attended their gala this year, a star-studded event drawing the organization’s founder, Brad Pitt, celebrities like Sofia Vergara and Sandra Bullock, famed architects like Bill McDonough and passionate New Orleans natives.

Designed by David Stark, all of this year’s gala décor was made from green building materials, and all of it will be reused after the party to build Make It Right LEED homes.

Want to read more about Make It Right? Download our new LEED in Motion: Residential report for a full Q&A with Make It Right's founder, Tom Darden.