The BPF would like to see an enlarged private rented sector providing accommodation at sub-market rents, to form part of the section 106 agreements between private developers and local authorities that offset the public disruption costs of the external effects of development.
The federation believes that for many home ownership is not an option, and equal provision must be given to the rented sector.
BPF's commercial and residential director Ian Fletcher said: 'This change requires innovative thinking by the government and local authorities, but would serve to fill a massive affordability gap for those looking for quality accommodation who do not wish to buy.
'We need a more flexible approach to what constitutes affordable housing and this scheme would allow developers and investors to deliver high quality and well maintained affordable housing, responding to local needs.
'We need to act now to think of creative solutions for all those in housing need. We believe a professionalised private rented sector can fill part of this hole.'