By Daniel Hunter

A new report from Centrepoint and the University of Cambridge has warned of a shortage of affordable housing in England.

The report from the youth homelessness charity suggested that the housing shortage will reach "crisis point" by 2021 unless action is taken.

Centrepoint said 934,388 more properties at sub-market rents would be needed in England. The University of Cambridge study looked at council, housing association and private rented sector units accessible with housing benefit.

"Local authorities must look at using powers they already have to tackle empty homes and engage further with the private sector, and nationally, government has to review its cuts to housing benefit rates, which has left private rented properties out of reach in many areas of the country," Centrepoint chief executive Seyi Obakin said.

However, the government says the building of new affordable homes is accelerating.

The research said more than 137,500 properties were needed to meet demand from the under-25s.

"We are building 170,000 new affordable homes for rent and affordable home ownership by 2015, and are planning to accelerate the building rate from next year," Housing Minister Mark Prisk said.

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