The Government is being urged to tackle the housing crisis by helping to deliver 88,000 affordable homes a year for families who are "just managing".
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said England alone needs to build 243,000 houses a year, with at least 78,000 for people who only dream of owning a home.
The independent charity said the Government should invest £1.1 billion extra a year on affordable housing through a scheme linking housing association and council rents to wages.
In a report published ahead of next week's Autumn Statement, JRF said rates of house-building in England were "stuck" at half the level needed to meet existing and expected demand.
Helen Barnard, head of analysis at JRF, said: "The number of people who privately rent their homes is growing fast, so the Government must make sure that as a nation we build the homes that people need at a price that they can afford.
"If private rents continue to rise further out of reach, we'll see more and more people who are forced to make impossible choices as their rent takes up a growing chunk of their household budget."
:: In its submission to the Autumn Statement, the EEF called on the Chancellor to reassure "nervous" businesses with measures aimed at boosting investment and economic growth.
The manufacturers' organisation said one in four companies were holding off investment plans amid increased political uncertainty.