One million new homes should be built by the end of this Parliament, housing minister Brandon Lewis has said.
The UK needed 974,000 to be built between 2011 and 2014, but less than 460,000 were completed during that period, according to the National Housing Federation.
The federation said the shortfall proves more new homes are urgently needed.
“We haven’t built enough homes in this country for decades, and if the gap between the number of households forming and the number of new homes being built continues to grow, we are in danger of not being able to house our children,” the federation’s director of policy and external affairs Gill Payne said.
Housing minister Brandon Lewis told BBC Inside Out that “success” would mean building “something like a million homes” by 2020.
Figures released last month showed the number of new homes being started by builders in England fell at its steepest rate for three years, to 33,280 in the April to June period.