Northampton Borough Council has announced ambitious plans to bring more than 100 empty homes back into use over the next 18 months, 20 times as many as it managed in the last three years.
The authority has only refurbished five private houses for use as affordable homes since 2010, but it plans to grow this to 105 by March 2015.
The plans were part of a relaunched housing strategy announced by Guildhall officials, due to the changes in the housing market.
It said providing new homes remained a “key priority,” and it was also pledging to get tough on private landlords to offer better standards to the increasing number of people who rented their homes through them. The authority has approved the development of 405 affordable homes in Northampton since 2010, and said it aimed to see another 870 built in the next three years.
Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Obelisk), the council’s cabinet member for housing, said improving housing supply in Northampton was vital for the town’s future.
She said: “Providing affordable housing is important for people in the town trying to get on the housing ladder, and also for future generations.
“This strategy has to be a clear priority for us as an administration, which is why we have brought this issue to the cabinet.
“We are still uncovering problems left behind by the council’s previous Liberal Democrat administration, but our focus is to improve housing for the benefit of our tenants and to make the department fit for purpose.”
The housing strategy is set to be approved at a meeting of the borough council’s cabinet which will be held at the Guildhall next week.
In the report, the authority also pledged to reduce the numbers of people living in temporary accommodation from 40 in 2013-14 to 30 in 2015-16.
It also detailed the achievements at Oasis House, the £5.5 million scheme which opened last May, and provided emergency accommodation for 48 homeless people.