Empty homes are being left to rot because laws over compulsory purchasing are too complex, says the local government association.
The organisation wants councils to be able to buy up empty homes and ease their housing waiting lists.
In Kirklees, there are more than 3,000 homes standing empty and unused.
Council leader Coun David Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) said: “It is quite easy for people to buy property and leave it, but it’s complicated and difficult to make owners repair empty properties or obtain compulsory purchase orders.
“This isn’t about people who have houses on the market.
“We’re talking about people who deliberately leave houses empty for years.
“But the local government association is not just looking at empty homes.
“We need the powers to stop people buying town centre units and charging high prices, meaning they are left empty for years.
“People find it really galling when former council homes are bought under the right to buy scheme and are then left empty.
“The number of former council houses in Kirklees bought under right to buy and then just left empty is in the hundreds.”
More information about bringing empty properties back into use is available at www.kirklees.gov.uk/community/housing/pdf/emptyProperties.pdf.