During the first year of HUD's experimental housing allowance program in St. Joseph County, Indiana, only 39 enrollees bought homes. Half the purchases were financed by FHA-insured loans--the only institutional financing generally available to low-income households. Some were bought on land contracts, but none were financed by conventional loans from commercial banks or savings and loan associations. A total of 1,465 homes were repaired to qualify the occupants for an allowance, with a median cash outlay of $10 and a total expenditure of $830,000--a demand that did not strain the home repair industry and should not in the future. No evidence was found that program participation was impeded by the inability to finance repairs. None of the lenders, brokers, or contractors who had dealt with participants thought the program had altered the homeownership market, and views of its effects on the rental market were divided.