Council homes across Leeds that are being used for offices and other non-residential purposes have cost the authority over £1.2m in lost rent.
And now with the city facing an urgent need for more social and affordable housing, council officers are carrying out a review to see if some of the properties can be brought back into residential use.
There are 49 flats or houses currently being used either as offices, meeting rooms, storage, communal rooms or as a base for community facilities.
Council records show some of the properties have not been used as homes for over ten years.
A report to the councils housing and regeneration scrutiny board said all 49 properties had been checked to establish the rent the council charged for similar properties in the area.
It said: “The estimated rent foregone on the 49 properties is £1,243,472.
“This equates to an annual rent loss figure of approximately £131,575.”
While some of the properties are formally leased by community groups and are seen as an asset to their neighbourhood, councillors are keen that any properties under-used are brought back into residential use.
Coun John Procter, scrutiny board chairman, said: “This issue arose because some councillors were aware of homes in their wards not being used for residential purposes.
“They are being used for all sorts of uses and it is right that a review is done.
“Officers point out that the 49 properties are only a very small percentage of the council’s total housing stock.
“While that may be so, housing is needed and if some of them can be used again as homes then people needing somewhere to live would benefit.
“Officers are going to do some more work and then report back to the board.”
The report said officers from the council’s asset and development team would work with housing officials to assess the current use of the properties.
It added that groups using the facilities would be fully consulted.