U.S. Housing Aid Winds Down, and Cities Worry
But Elkhart also symbolizes the failure of federal efforts to turn around the housing slump at the heart of the economic crisis. Housing in this community has become almost entirely dependent on a string of federal support programs, which are nonetheless failing to prevent a fall in prices and a rise in mortgage delinquencies. More than one in 10 mortgage holders in Elkhart is seriously behind on payments. The median sales price has plunged to the level of a decade ago. Many homeowners owe more than their home is worth, freezing them in place for years. Foreclosures recently hit a record. To the extent that the real estate market is functioning at all, people here say, it is doing so only because of the emergency programs, which have pushed down interest rates on mortgages and offered buyers a substantial tax credit.