Big Chief Juan Pardo raising money online for affordable housing

NEW ORLEANS – Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Juan Pardo has turned to crowdfunding site GoFundMe to raise money for a pair of tiny homes he plans to rent as affordable housing.

Pardo created the Big Chief Affordable Homes for All campaign on December 3 in order to raise $60,000 to install two homes on a lot he owns.

“The reason for this fundraising campaign is to create affordable housing for the elderly and people needing a chance to get back on their feet,” Pardo wrote on the effort’s homepage. “With your help two brand new tiny homes will be placed on a lot for very affordable and fixed income rental rate.”

The lot in question belonged to Pardo’s grandparents and was initially used for affordable housing.

Two homes that were on the lot at the time of the storm were heavily damaged, and the state eventually took over the property, but Pardo said he was recently able to purchase it back.

Pardo writes that his grandparents had a clear vision for the lot and how it should be used.

“Their wish for this property was to always be available to provide low rent living for the elderly of the community and those needing a chance to get back on their feet – friends, family, or anyone in need,” he said. “Your donation will be in support of housing that will be of benefit to others. And for that we are all incredibly grateful. We will pay it forward with vigor and love.”

So far, donations have come in from Little Freddie King, a fellow musician, and several other early supporters.

For $500, Pardo will deliver a telegram while wearing one of his signature Mardi Gras Indian suits.

Check out Big Chief Juan Pardo performing on the News With a Twist stage: