NEW ORLEANS — At the corner of Jourdan Avenue and North Roman in the lower ninth ward, there are six shipping containers, which Selina Pritchett says have been there about 10 years.
“It could be anything in there,” said Pritchett. “It’s been here so long that it’s just a part of the community now.”
There are also two across the street. They all showed up as part of the Make it RightFoundation, created in 2007 to help rebuild the neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina. Pritchett never knew what was in them.
“I always thought it was just building materials,” said Pritchett.
Last week she noticed the containers were open. A photo sent to Eyewitness News shows one of them wide open. Tuesday one of them was partially open, with stacks of documents including blueprints and invoices visible. None of them are locked. For folks who live around there, the concern is that personal information may also be stored inside, unsecured.
“What if it is stuff like that, they just cleared out the office, the local office they had down here, and just threw it in there and left,” said Pritchett.
According to records from the Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office, the property is owned by Make it Right New Orleans Housing LLC. Tuesday there was no one at the local office on nearby Tennessee Street and listed numbers for the non-profit don’t work. Emails sent to Make it Right representatives from Eyewitness News have not been responded to. Make it Right is already facing backlash and legal action for alleged subpar construction and now there’s a trust issue in keeping documents safe.
“We’ve already been hearing everything that’s going on with Make it Right so who are we really going to hold accountable,” said Pritchett.
Because of the concern about sensitive information Eyewitness News called the city’s action line which sent the information to the safety and permits department. Eyewitness News also called councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen’s office and the NOPD’s fifth district. As of late Tuesday night those containers were still unsecured, which leaves residents concerned.
“You need to do something a little bit better, or at least have security to come and around and make sure that it’s locked, and it’s not be tampered with,” said Pritchett.