More than 11,000 homes have stood empty for at least 10 years, according to new research by the Liberal Democrats.
A freedom of information request revealed that over 216,000 homes across the country have been empty for six months or more.
The research also discovered that only 19 of the 247 councils that responded to the request were using powers to take over these empty properties in the past five years.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said: ‘The Government needs to urgently review the current system which is clearly not working.
‘Councils need to be given the powers and resources to bring empty homes back into use .
‘This must form part of a wider package to tackle the housing crisis, including building more homes on unused public sector land and clamping down on land-banking.’