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The Editors

Action on U.S. Housing Still Vital for Economic Expansion: View

In an unusual step, the Federal Reserve sent a white paper to congressional committees last week, urging them to look again at what ails the U.S. housing market and at possible remedies. More can be done, the Fed says, to help it revive.

Good advice. Housing is where the recession started, and it remains one of the main things holding back the recovery. Friday’s unemployment numbers -- nonfarm payrolls grew by 200,000 in December, and the jobless rate ticked down to 8.5 percent from 8.7 percent -- join other tentative signs of an improving economy, but the housing mess is mostly getting worse. There’s still a grave risk it might stop, not just delay, the expansion.