Government plans to build three million new homes before 2020 were furthered today with the publication of the housing and regeneration bill.
The bill will create a new home and communities agency and will reform social housing and regulation to provide improved services for tenants.
The bill will also support the regeneration and delivery of new social and affordable housing, identified as a key government priority in July as Gordon Brown stepped over the threshold at No 10.
The prime minister promised to put the chronic shortage of affordable housing in Britain at the top of his political agenda and announced the bill, saying it would aim to put the property ladder "within the reach not just of the few but the many".
The bill published today will also attempt to make private sector land available for brownfield development.
The new home and communities agency will oversee the delivery of the government's affordable housing targets.
The Liberal Democrats claimed the bill had come ten years too late, as it will still leave a whole generation of people priced out of the housing market.
Housing spokesman Paul Holmes said: "It is a disgrace that it took this government a decade to realise the gravity of the housing crisis.
"The bill suffers from its own crippling poverty of ambition, and contains too little on affordable housing, too little on social housing and too little on sustainable housing."
Housing minister Yvette Cooper recently announced a £550 million incentive fund to entice local councils to comply with the new regeneration programme and to encourage them to make available land for development.
There has also been controversy over exactly where the new homes are going to be built, with the government suggesting it was prepared to construct on flood plains.