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WASHINGTON, DC – August 16, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today that HUD will provide assistance to families affected by this spring’s catastrophic tornadoes in Joplin, MO, and central Alabama, by entering into an unprecedented purchase agreement to sell real estate owned properties (REO) to public housing authorities in the affected areas.

As part of a pilot program, HUD will sell nearly 90 “move-in ready” REO properties in both Missouri and Alabama to public housing authorities at a discount in an effort to quickly provide housing for families that were displaced by the tornadoes. The public housing authority will then make the properties available for lease or sale to any impacted person within two months.

“After witnessing first-hand the size and scope of the devastation in Alabama, I knew we must do more,” said Donovan. “For the first-time, HUD has designed a pilot program that will bring families affected by a significant disaster closer to stability by quickly providing them with an opportunity to purchase or lease a home. We hope to be able to use this draft purchase agreement as a model to assist other families displaced after a disaster.”

Nearly 90 REO properties in both Alabama and Missouri are available as part of the draft purchase agreement. Due to the proximity of Joplin, MO, to neighboring states, HUD is offering REO properties within a 20-mile radius of the city limits. The REO properties are available in the following counties:

  • Alabama: Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Chilton, Clarke, Cleburne, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Cullman, Dale, Elmore, Escambia, Etowah, Fayette, Geneva, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mobile, Montgomery, Morgan, Randolph, Russell, St. Clair, Shelby, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston
  • Kansas: Cherokee
  • Missouri: Jasper and Newton
  • Oklahoma: Ottawa

To date, HUD has provided $350,000 each to Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, AL, and Joplin, MO, through the Community Development Block Grant Sanctions Fund, which helps communities to address their long-term recovery needs following the impacts of recent disasters.

Individuals interested in purchasing one of these properties may contact their local public housing authority for information on how to apply. A list of public housing authorities can be found on HUD’s website.


HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and  transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

Ashley Gammon
(202) 708-0685