Scotland's National Housing Trust (NHT) wants house builders to sign up for a construction programme which could see £300m-worth of new homes built north of the border.
The scheme, backed by £130m of funding from the Scottish Futures Trust, will see the purchase of newly-built houses by local authorities with loans underwritten by the Scottish Government.
It aims to kick-start activity on mothballed building sites and create or safeguard around 1,000 jobs in the construction sector.
The NHT has begun the formal procurement process with an advertisement in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Housing developers are being asked to express interest by 25 October.
The programme will run for an anticipated four years.
In Edinburgh, where 600 NHT homes are expected to be built, housing and communities minister Alex Neil said: "Building more affordable homes across Scotland presents a formidable challenge in a climate of increasing financial constraint.
"The National Housing Trust model breaks new ground in the UK and I am delighted that so many councils have embraced this approach as one that can help solve housing pressures locally."
Twelve local authorities have signed the NHT participation agreement: Aberdeen City Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Dundee City Council, East Lothian Council, East Renfrewshire Council, Falkirk Council, Glasgow City Council, The Highland Council, Midlothian Council, Scottish Borders Council, Stirling Council.