Top Federal Reserve officials are prodding the White House and Congress to take more aggressive action to stop the free-fall in the housing market, warning that the U.S. economy will remain sluggish and vulnerable and will not fully recover until housing returns to better health.

Having failed to revive the housing market from its deep slump by driving interest rates to record lows and taking the unprecedented step of buying up many of the country’s mortgages, Fed officials have concluded that vigorous action by the executive branch is needed to overcome legal and institutional obstacles to a recovery.

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