An extra 60,000 council and housing association homes are needed to tackle the full reality of England's housing crisis, the government is being warned.
More than 100,000 children live in temporary accommodation
The aim of halving the number of those in temporary housing by 2010 will only be met with a £3.75bn investment, housing charity Shelter says.
It also claims that without this cash injection the government will not bring stability to the housing market.
The Treasury said it planned to boost social housing building by 50%.
It also said it recognised the importance of social housing and welcomed the Shelter report as an important contribution to the debate.
A Treasury spokesman said: "The government recognises the importance of social housing and in 2004 announced a 50% increase in the amount of social housing being built by 2007/08."
But Shelter says research by experts at Cambridge University found that the 90,000 houses the government is aiming to build between 2008 to 2011 falls well short of what is required to confront the country's housing shortage.
It argued that an extra 60,000 homes would bring 150,000 children out of the poor housing that harms their health and educational achievement.
Its report, Building Hope: The Case for More Homes, said: "The acute shortage of affordable rented council and housing association accommodation - social rented housing - is at the root cause of the housing crisis.
"Output of social rented housing today is still short of what was delivered in the early 1990s and it is barely a fraction of what was achieved in the post-war years."
Cambridge's Centre for Housing Planning Research was asked to update the Treasury Commissioned review of housing needs by Bank of England economist Kate Barker.
The Barker report, published in March 2004, found that some 23,000 extra affordable homes for renting were needed yearly between 2008 and 2011 to meet minimum housing requirements and bring stability to the housing market.
Chancellor Gordon Brown is due to respond formally to the review in his pre-budget statement in November.
The charity is now calling on members of the public to demonstrate their support for its demands by signing campaign cards to be presented to Number 11 before Mr Brown makes his response.
But the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has already indicated that the government is only willing to build 10,000 more homes a year over the same period on top of the 20,000 already planned.
The call comes as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) published its own report suggesting that without significant investment in new social housing, it is unlikely to achieve its own target to halve the record number of households in temporary accommodation by 2010.
The ODPM report shows that homeless families with children - who make up at least 65% of the total - will not have halved by 2010.
This is the only indication so far of progress towards the 2010 target, according to Shelter.
Adam Sampson, Director of Shelter, said the figures showed exactly how difficult it will be for the government to meet its own target unless it dramatically increases rates of building for new affordable, rented homes.
"We are calling on Gordon Brown to urgently commit £1.25 billion a year extra investment to provide 60,000 more homes for those in need - or risk missing its own homelessness target."
However, the ODPM said that Shelter was referring to figures which were "out of date" and did not take into account targets such as the renewed government manifesto's pledge to halve the number of people in temporary accommodation.
A spokeswoman said Shelter "was right" that more homes were needed and that was why the number of affordable homes built had "doubled" since 1997.
"Over the next three years we aim to provide 75,000 more social housing for rent," she added.
The ODPM spokeswoman added that home ownership was also important, and it had already enabled one million more people to become home owners and planned to enable another one million to own homes by 2010.