Property Acquisition

The National Community Stabilization Trust has administered its national REO Property Acquisition Program to facilitate the transfer of foreclosed and abandoned property from financial institutions to local housing providers engaged in neighborhood stabilization activities since 2008. The REO Property Acquisition Program is the nation’s only scalable program that has established a systematic, predictable, and transparent means of moving properties from REO sellers directly to community-based housing organizations.

The REO Property Acquisition Program permits the cost-effective and transparent purchase of foreclosed and abandoned properties through several property transfer tracks, including First Look, Listed/ Aged Inventory, or Donation Properties..

Program Overview

The Stabilization Trust’s REO Property Acquisition program links the REO inventories of financial institutions with local housing providers who are seeking to acquire foreclosed or abandoned properties to stabilize neighborhoods.  Once a municipality or local housing provider becomes a ‘community buyer’ with the Stabilization Trust, they are able to access properties from multiple REO sellers through the REO Property Acquisition Program. The Stabilization Trust maintains established relationships with financial institutions to make REO property listings available to local housing providers within designated target areas, often tied to the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. As part of the REO Property Acquisition Program, the Stabilization Trust has an established set of processes and procedures to show REO property listings and facilitate the offer process with REO sellers on behalf of community buyers.


Assist local government, non-profit and socially motivated for-profit organizations efficiently acquire vacant and foreclosed properties and stabilize neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures and abandonment.

Collaborate with financial institutions to serve as an efficient national conduit for REO transfers by consolidating processes and practices, and educating local community buyers to maximize certainty of execution on property transactions.

Tenets of the Property Acquisition Program

Strategy and Capacity

The REO Property Acquisition Program helps local housing providers access available REO properties and provides a streamlined path for communities to purchase those properties for the purposes of renovation and reuse as affordable housing.

The Stabilization Trust offers community buyers three different programs to access the right kinds of properties to make a positive impact in distressed neighborhoods:

First Look – Community Buyers receive an exclusive view of newly available REO properties in target neighborhoods from select financial institutions, before those properties are listed for sale on the open market. This allows the community to be in the ‘driver’s seat’ and take control over the outcome of distressed properties that will make the most important difference to neighborhood stability.

Aged/ Listed Inventory – Community Buyers can purchase properties that may already be listed for sale and benefit from a direct and streamlined transaction process facilitated by the Stabilization Trust with the REO Seller.

Donation Property Contributions –To supplement the purchase of REO properties in neighborhoods of greatest need, participating financial institutions make available vacant REO properties for donation to eligible organizations.

Quick and Certain Sales

The Stabilization Trust has established a purchase methodology with the nation’s largest financial institutions to give community buyers a predictable and transparent means to acquire REO properties. Communities can acquire REO properties with greater confidence and certainty through the Stabilization Trust. The Stabilization Trust safeguards communities from investor competition on ‘First Look’ properties, which allows them to benefit from increased savings on sales prices, and an easier transaction process conserves the time and resources of staff.

Innovative Technology

The Stabilization Trust makes the work of neighborhood stabilization easier for communities through REOMatch™, the online mapping and property acquisition tool. Through REOMatch, communities are able map target neighborhood boundaries down to the street level, view newly available ‘First Look’ properties that become available within exact target neighborhoods, and manage the entire property acquisition process for all properties accessed through the Stabilization Trust.

Key Strategies for Neighborhood Stabilization: 

How the REO Property Acquisition Program Makes a Difference

  • For neighborhood stabilization efforts to be most effective, they should be concentrated. Local housing providers should focus on key houses within tightly targeted neighborhoods.

  • To make a true difference in neighborhoods with high levels of foreclosures and abandoned properties, local housing providers and developers need to access to troubled properties. Coordinated participation from all mortgage servicers or investors gives communities a better chance at creating solutions for vacant or foreclosed properties through renovation and reuse, and this increases the likelihood of community efforts to be successful.

  • Local governments and non-profit organizations benefit from advantages provided by the Stabilization Trust. Outside of the REO Property Acquisition Program, higher acquisition costs and increased competition for REO properties can diminish the impact of community based stabilization strategies.

  • A stabilized neighborhood benefits all property holders (homeowners, renters, servicers and investors) within its boundaries. Local housing providers should devise strategies with the goal to efficiently use available resources and comprehensively address impacted neighborhoods.

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