Mayo County Council have used Compulsory Purchase Orders just once over the past 7 years to buy up a derelict or vacant house.
Local authorities have the power to take land or property by CPO if it's deemed to be "for the common good".
Tens of thousands of houses are believed to be lying abandoned across the country, while at the same time, almost 10,000 people are living in emergency accomodation.
New figures obtained by Fianna Fail under Freedom of Information requests show more than half of county councils have not made any attempt to use CPOs to build up their housing stocks.
Just 240 attempts to take ownership of vacant properties using Compulsory Purchase Orders have been made in the last 7 years - including one request by Mayo County Council - compared to 141 by Laois County Council.
Roscommon and Galway County Councils did not reply to requests for information.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy says county council are identifying potentially vacant homes that can be re-activated through a wide number of schemes and regulatory powers, including repair & lease, buy and renew, long-term leasing and choice-based letting.