HUD secretary promises tornado-ravaged communities will be rebui - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

HUD secretary promises tornado-ravaged communities will be rebuilt

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan returned to tour storm damage in Alabama. Donovan reviewed the destruction in both Tuscaloosa and Birmingham Monday.  That is welcome news for Lashandra Kirksey and her ten-year-old daughter Shanija. The only thing that is left of their Timber  Ridge Apartment is the closet where the pair survived the tornado's deadly path.

"God was in that closet with my daughter and I. I was rocking her and God was rocking both of us. I'm so grateful to God," Kirksey said.

Kirksey and her daughter are staying with relatives but they are longing for a place to call home.

"I want to know what kind of help we are going to be getting. And what they are going to be doing with the housing. Some people don't have anywhere to go," Kirksey said.

"I want a place to have of my own to be with mom.  I want to be safe so we want have to go through this again," Shanija Kirksey said.

The U.S. HUD Secretary came to Birmingham to continue to urge residents to apply for assistance for those who lost their home.

"My team will be on the ground every day until this community is built back. Stronger than it was before the storm," Donovan said.

Donovan says HUD has a National Home Locator System to find housing.

"We have tens of thousands of apartments across the state we've been tracking through that system," he said.

HUD is even looking at FHA foreclosed houses as another source of housing for those who want to buy. Meanwhile, Shanija just wants a new home so she will be ready for another storm.

"I know when it storms I will be real scared, but I know I can be brave," Shanija said.

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