Balls believes a recent windfall from improved public finances should be spent on easing the country’s housing crisis and helping the construction industry.
Treasury figures showed that Britain borrowed £155bn in 2009-10 – £12bn less than the amount forecast by Alistair Darling in his March budget.
In an article for the LabourList website, Balls said: “The public finances are around £12bn healthier than forecast at the time of the budget. The coalition government wants to use the extra money to pay down the deficit faster.
“I think that at a time when the economy is still so fragile and other countries are already tipping back into recession, we should instead use that money to boost construction jobs and build new homes.
“By using half of that £12bn, a £6bn investment this year and next, we could build 100,000 extra affordable homes which it’s been estimated would create up to 750,000 new jobs, directly in the construction industry and indirectly in the supply chain including thousands of apprenticeships for young people.”