Unexpected demand for the Affordable Homes Programme means that up to 24,000 more homes could be built than first expected.
Housing minister Grant Shapps MP the successful bidders – made up of 146 housing associations, local authorities and house builders – could build 80,000 homes, 24,000 more than first planned.
The increase means that a total of 170,000 new homes could be delivered by 2015 through this and other government schemes, safeguarding some 80,000 jobs in construction and related trades.
The previous target was 150,000 new homes by 2015.
Of the 80,000 new homes, 29% will be larger family-sized homes with three or more bedrooms while almost 10% will be supported housing and 9% will be homes in rural areas.
The developments are subject to the bidding organisations signing contracts with the Homes and Communities Agency.
Shapps said: “The Affordable Homes Programme has received a ringing endorsement from the sector and confounded the critics, who said the programme would not deliver in the current climate.
“There were some who predicted doom and said very few would want to be involved in this radical new approach. Others said it would work in the south east but nowhere else.
“But we now have a wealth of strong proposals, putting us on track to deliver up to 170,000 new affordable homes across the country over the next four years.”
The Government programme allows social housing providers to charge a rent of up to 80% of the local market level, and use the additional income to support delivery of more affordable homes.