North Lanarkshire Council's Empty Home Purchase Scheme involves the local authority buying empty privately owned properties in areas of high demand and renting them out to tenants.
So far, the council is in the process of buying four such properties at locations across North Lanarkshire.
Elaine McHugh, the council's head of Housing Services, said: "We don't have enough houses to meet demand, so this new scheme enables us to continue helping those in greatest need by providing additional properties for rent.
"We are aware of a number of vacant private properties, often in serious disrepair, or former council properties with owners who have enquired if the council would be interested in buying back their property.
"Clearly we have a very limited budget for this scheme, however it will help address some issues faced by owners and communities in relation to these empty properties, as nobody wants to be staying next to run down or derelict homes."
To be considered, properties need to meet certain criteria, such as having being empty for more than six months and there being a rental demand for that size and type of property in the particular location.
Consideration will also be given to purchasing a property if it would give the council complete ownership of a block, which would allow major common repair works to be carried out.
The scheme has an annual budget of £500,000, which will cover purchasing and any renovation work that may be required.
Valuations will be carried out by the council. And it is not just ex-council houses that will be considered - properties that have always been privately- owned will be looked at if they meet the criteria.
Councillor Sam Love, convener of Housing and Social Work Services, added: "Although it is difficult to say how many properties could be purchased under the scheme, it will help us to maintain sustainable communities, improve our housing stock, and, most importantly, meet the need for additional affordable housing."