New research from the Home Builders Federation says the gap between Britain's housing needs and the actual number of properties is one million - a record.
The HBF research marks exactly 10 years since the Barker Report, when economist Kate Barker led a probe into the country's housing needs in response to a call by then-premier Tony Blair.
In 2004 Barker demanded the building of 210,000 homes each year to avert a crisis and 260,000 a year to meet the actual growth in the number of households. But successive governments had "failed to pay heed and develop policies to deliver the homes the country needs" according to the executive chairman of the HBF, Stewart Baseley.
He says the Help to Buy equity loan scheme had started to drive demand and increase supply, but from a low base, and that it was not the government's job to ensure planning policies were developed to identify and free land for house building.
"As we approach a general election, we now need to see all parties committing to policies that lead to a sustained increase in housebuilding. We have to build our way out of the crisis, he says.