It's certainly possible, I have a similar setup to David (mine is the default setup for Centos):
with the following in my
/etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf file (minus comments):
LoadModule dav_svn_module modules/mod_dav_svn.so
LoadModule authz_svn_module modules/mod_authz_svn.so
# Limit write permission to list of valid users.
<LimitExcept GET PROPFIND OPTIONS REPORT>
# Require SSL connection for password protection.
AuthName "Subversion Repository"
Do you have SELinux in Enforcing? You might need to correctly set the context of the files in your /var/www/svn location.
sestatus command will show you whether you're in Enforcing mode or not. You can (temporarily) use
setenforce 0 to switch from Enforcing to Permissive and try again to see if that is the problem.
You want the labelling for the format file to be
ls -Z to see SELinux labels for files). You can fix it using
restorecon -R /var/www/svn.
For further reading on SELinux, I refer you to the Fedora SELinux User Guide