A Berkshire council has agreed to renew a compulsory purchase policy to tackle the owners of vacant properties.
There are about 107 long-term vacant homes in Slough, and about 6,000 people on the housing waiting list.
Empty homes attract squatters, vandals, arsonists, drug users and fly-tippers, the borough council said.
It said a compulsory purchase policy that expired in 2008 would be renewed, enabling the council to act against owners and take over properties.
Manju Dhar, private sector housing manager, said: "Empty homes can pose many difficulties."
He added: "With this updated policy in place, we'll have more governance to ensure we can deal with any issues efficiently, effectively and economically."