Construction union Ucatt welcomed a new report yesterday calling for councils to build thousands more homes.
The Centre for Cities research group urged the government to lift an "unnecessary" cap on the amount councils can borrow to invest in housing.
This would free up local authorities to build 60,000 homes and invest more in improving existing properties.
It argued a "horses for courses" approach for each region, rather than a nationwide policy, could give a much-needed boost to the economy. It said "rapid" results would be seen in areas such as Oxford, London, Cambridge and Brighton. Cities such as Burnley, Bradford, Blackpool and Dundee could transform existing homes too.
Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said: "It is pleasing to see that other organisations are starting to recognise that an increase in house building will help to reinvigorate the economy."
"The turnaround time on housing is generally quicker than most sectors of the construction industry, meaning that once funding and planning have been secured work can soon start."
Britain is building 100,000 fewer homes every year than is required to keep pace with demand, with over 230,000 new houses a year needed in England alone, the report said.
Mike Jones of the Local Government Association, which sponsored the report, said: "If the government released local authorities from some of the restrictions it imposes on them, they could do so much more."