The West Midlands is suffering from "a massive shortage of new housing" with fewer than half the number of homes being built each year that are needed, the National Housing Federation has claimed.
Waiting lists for social housing have almost doubled in the past ten years - and the number of households classed as homeless is up by a fifth since 2010.
The figures, based on official data, were compiled in a report by the federation, which represents 1,200 housing associations across the country.
It warned that the number of households in the West Midlands region was rising by 17,000 each year but only 8,640 homes were built in 2011-12, based on figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
There are 183,945 households currently on the waiting list for social housing such as council or housing association homes in the West Midlands, up by 98 per cent over ten years.
And 8,560 households are officially recognised as homeless by local authorities in the West Midlands. This is up by a fifth compared to two years ago.
The National Housing Federation is calling on the Government to make more land available to build on, and argues that this would also provide a major boost to the economy. It says it has identified 26,510 hectares brownfield land across the country which could be used for housing.
The report stated: "The rapid release of publicly owned land to housing associations so they can build homes. For the quickest economic impact the Government must immediately release small parcels of brownfield sites, which can be delivered more quickly than larger sites.
"Each of these could be capable of delivering up to 100 new homes. Based on the Government's own data, we have already identified land equivalent to two cities the size of Wolverhampton that could be built on."
The Federation admitted that proposals to build more homes are likely to provoke opposition - but argued that there was also public support for homebuilding which did not receive a fair hearing.
The report said: "We know people want more homes built, and we need to encourage their voices to be heard above those of the NIMBYs. Public support for more homes is vital."
Gemma Duggan, West Midlands lead manager for the National Housing Federation, said: "We're only building half the homes we need in the West Midlands and the shortfall is having a huge impact on people from all walks of life.
"With high house prices and rising rents, we now face the very real possibility that an entire generation will be priced out of being able to rent a home, let alone able to buy one.
"The West Midlands has seen a rise in waiting lists for social housing, and the number of homeless families is also on the increase. Neither of these issues can be ignored. They're the human cost of the housing crisis in our region."
Responding to the report, Jack Dromey, Labour's Shadow Housing Minister, and Erdington MP said: "This report highlights the scale of the housing crisis faced by tens of thousands across the West Midlands. Families are struggling to afford soaring rents in the private rented sector.
"Thousands are locked out of home ownership. And nearly two hundred thousand are left stranded on the growing housing waiting lists in the West Midlands alone."
Labour was calling on the Government to use the proceeds of an auction of the 4G mobile broadband spectrum to build homes, he said. It has been estimated that the sell-off next year could raise anything between £1.3 billion and £4 billion.
The Government is planning to invest around £600 million of the money raised on supporting industry and science. The Treasury says it is too soon to make decisions about the rest of the revenue raised from 4G.
In September, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, announced a housing package which they said would deliver 70,000 new homes, including affordable housing and opportunities for first-time buyers to get onto the housing ladder.
Measures included freeing developers from a requirement to provide community facilities alongside housing in circumstances where this had rendered schemes commercially unviable.
This would see projects to build 75,000 homes stuck in limbo to go ahead.