The government is facing calls to step up its efforts to tackle the housing crisis following this week's Budget announcement.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne did address the issue of housing in his keynote speech by announcing the introduction of Help to Buy Isas.

However, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is concerned that while this measure might help a few first-time buyers get on the property ladder, it "fails to address the fundamental problem - that we are simply not building enough homes".

Gavin Smart, interim chief executive of the CIH, said driving up demand without dealing with supply shortfalls "runs the risk of fuelling further price rises".

He urged politicians to display strong leadership in order to "rise to the challenge of fixing our broken housing system", as the number of homes being built has failed to keep up with population rises for decades.

Mr Smart said this means being able to afford to buy or rent a "decent, suitable home" is a "distant dream" for many.

The National Housing Federation raised similar concerns with the chancellor's announcement, with chief executive David Orr saying it "fails to address the root cause of unaffordability - the chronic undersupply of homes.

He described the Help to Buy Isa idea as "another short-term initiative for first-time buyers", rather than a long-term solution to the housing crisis.

Mr Orr insisted that any steps that are taken need to affect "more than just prospective buyers" and also consider people such as the homeless and those who are "languishing on social housing waiting lists".

Politicians were urged to "pull their heads out of the sand" and commit to introducing a long-term plan to end the UK's housing crisis within a generation.