Derelict houses in Brighton & Hove should be repaired and refurbished to boost the area’s economy, according to an influential think tank.

The Centre for Cities identified Brighton as one of the cities most likely to deliver its housing targets.

It says the city is below Oxford, London, and Cambridge in housing affordability but above Crawley, Reading and Worthing.

The think tank caused controversy last year when it suggested that Brighton and Hove needed more supermarkets and fewer independent shops.

The survey comes as Brighton and Hove City Council has written to neighbouring authorities - including the South Downs National park - asking for help in building new homes.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said the survey showed that the city could meet its housing needs.

He said: “We have robust plans to meet the housing demands in teh city. That’s why we have brought forward the Toad’s Hole valley scheme. I am confident we can meet our housing targets.”

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “This year’s Cities Outlook shows that the housing crisis is one of the most pressing challenges facing the UK’s economy and it can only be addressed if we put place back into national housing policy. Cities must have the freedoms and flexibilities to make decisions about housing policy based on local circumstances. For some cities, lack of housing prevents people accessing jobs or means they are stuck in cramped accommodation. In other cities, incentives to retrofit empty houses could improve local quality of life. Both approaches, adapted to local needs, would generate the jobs and growth the UK needs.

“Cities Outlook 2013 shows that future economic growth will depend on making the most of the untapped potential in UK cities. Policy that can adapt to local needs and greater devolution of powers and funding to cities could be the recipe that the UK economy needs to get back to sustained economic growth.”