Fannie Mae will provide 1,500 single-family homes for temporary housing for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the mortgage giant said Thursday.

The houses come from Fannie’s Real Estate Owned, or REO, stock (properties that have been re-purchased by a bank after foreclosure), Fannie Mae said.

The government-sponsored enterprise will be discussing how best to administer the initiative with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We continue to assess the situation and are working with our regulators, OFHEO (The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight) and HUD, as well as industry leaders, lenders and servicers, and our partners in the impacted areas to determine ways we can be of assistance,” said Daniel H. Mudd, chief executive officer of Fannie Mae.

“We hope this contribution of REO properties will relieve some of the pressure, and help evacuees needing shelter,” Mudd said.

Fannie Mae is initially providing 1,500 REO properties for rent-free leasing for up to 18 months. The properties are located in states with the highest concentration of evacuees, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, the company said.

“We continue to look at a broad set of initiatives in conjunction with our lender partners and servicers that would be able to provide relief to those in the impacted areas,” said Donald M. Remy, the Fannie Mae senior vice president and New Orleans native who is coordinating the company’s response to the disaster. “As we know more, we will do more.”

In addition to the company’s response, the Fannie Mae Foundation has donated $1 million to relief efforts through a $500,000 contribution to the American Red Cross, and an additional $500,000 for medium- and long-term efforts supported by the housing industry and housing organizations to help rebuild.

The Foundation is also providing matching funds for donations made by Fannie Mae and Foundation employees. To date, nearly half a million dollars has been raised through individual contributions by employees and matching funds.

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