HOUSING: Much-Needed Prop

Already battered by soaring inflation and a declining economy, the nation's housing industry recently has been jolted by another blow: skyscraping interest rates that are drying up mortgage money and threaten to depress construction even further. A continuing slide in housing would seriously diminish chances for an economic upturn later this year, and last week the Administration attempted a rescue. President Nixon announced a series of steps that would pump $10.3 billion in cash and credits into the sagging industry.

The program includes:

> Authority for the Department of Housing and Urban Development partially to subsidize interest rates on mortgage loans...