Housebuilders have left a third of homes unbuilt over a five-year period, even when granted residential planning permission, according to Shelter.
The property charity says this adds up to more than 320,000 homes between 2010 and 2015, according to the Times.
Shelter says in the same timeframe the profits of the UK’s five biggest housebuilders rose 388 per cent to £3.3bn in 2016.
Shelter head of policy Anne Baxendale says: “Housebuilders are trickling out a handful of poor-quality homes at a snail’s pace, meaning there are simply not enough affordable homes.
She says the “real problem is a system where developers make more profit sitting on land than they would by building homes”.
The charity wants the Government to grant councils new powers to fine housebuilders who build too slowly.
It also wants councils to be able to deny planning permission to builders based on their track record.
The Home Builders Federation said Shelter’s stance was “oversimplified and ideologically driven”.