The Government is making £225 million available funding to unblock a series of major local housing projects which have stalled in the UK.
Together, the schemes – which range in size from 4,000 units to 9,500 – will provide up to 48,600 new homes.
Mr Clegg said in a speech to the National Building-Council on Thursday 22nd November 2012 the shortage of homes is becoming so acute, there will in future need to be even more ambitious, with new developments of 15,000 to 25,000 homes.
He said housebuilders should draw inspiration from the garden cities of early 20th century, such as Letchworth and Welwyn, and the new towns of the post-war era like Milton Keynes and Stevenage.
‘We can either condemn ourselves to haphazard urban sprawl – the surest way to damage the countryside,’ he said.
‘We can cram ever more people into existing settlements, concreting over gardens and parks – and bear in mind we already build the smallest homes in Western Europe.
‘Or we can build places people want to live. Places which draw on the best of British architecture and design, which have their own identity and character.
‘Which, rather than destroy the countryside, actually have a crucial role in keeping it intact.
‘Places put together in a way that makes sense for modern British families.’
Mr Clegg also announced the European Investment Bank will be injecting a further £400m into the UK affordable housing sector to help build new energy efficient affordable homes.
He said that the shortage of homes for young people has created a ‘generational shift’ in the debate, with people becoming more receptive to the idea of new developments which in the past would have been strongly resisted.
Mr Clegg warned Britain is already building 100,000 fewer houses than is needed every year.
Over the next decade, each year, the UK is going to grow by around 230,000 households, he said. ‘Last year we managed to complete 117,000 – just over half.
‘Unless we take radical action, we will see more and more small communities wither, our big cities will become ever more congested as we continue to pile on top of each other, and the lack of supply will push prices and rents so high that unless you or your parents are very rich, for so many young people, living in your dream home is going to be a pipe dream.’
Clegg confirmed the Government are moving ahead with plans to create new garden city-style developments to combat urban sprawl.