Deputy prime minister John Prescott told Today he had completed a review of the housing plans and would make a statement to parliament before Easter.
This did not have to mean encroaching on the green belt, he said. 'I don't think there's any reason to be alarmist about this. I will be very much concentrating on how we can get more built in the urban areas'.
The government will have to tackle the problem of the expense of building on urban brown field sites, Mr Prescott said.