With rising house prices and a shortage of well-priced properties, affordable housing has rapidly changed from a social to political issue.
In his first statement as prime minister, Gordon Brown said he would make affordable housing a priority, alongside standard New Labour commitments.
Mr Brown pledged to build three million new homes by 2020, including 210,000 affordable homes. This stems from the government belief the lack of affordable housing has been caused by a shortage of housing stock.
The Conservatives have expressed more scepticism that the country can build its way out of a housing crisis, while individual local councils have proved resistant to many housing schemes.
politics.co.uk discusses the various solutions put forward to the housing crisis, as well as the case for new home building.