South Shields 11-bed house of multiple occupation plans could help freshen up the area.
South Tyneside Council has received a planning application to convert the upper floors of a former office in Fowler Street.
The plans were submitted just weeks after town hall chiefs agreed investigate houses in multiple occupation (HMO) as part of a drive to improve housing standards and tenant safety.
Councillors were told that even though the number of private HMOs in the borough being relatively low, they could still have an impact in a particular area because of the issues with quality and management.
As long as the council planners cannot enforce a blanket ban on HMOs, permitted development rights can be withdrawn in certain areas to limit numbers.
Comments on the Fowler Street plans will accepted by the council until March 22.
Despite the ongoing investigation, some neighbors have few concerns about the plan.
David Barber said on Facebook: “Making the upper floors of King Street into accommodation would be a good idea.”
Stephen Scott Thompson added: “It would be better than a closed shop and at least 11 people will be walking around in the town centre.”
Mandy Jameson wrote: “Houses of multiple occupancy are needed in South Shields especially around the college.
“Students need affordable accommodation to come here otherwise companies will stop using our college, training services and businesses.
“It’s the councils job to ensure they are planned and maintained appropriately.”
Darren Batchelor said: “I’ve got no issue. It’s better than empty buildings. A lot of town’s are heading this way.”
Valerie Nichol added: “Anything is better than the mess the place is now. Do more of this – as long as it is looked after properly.”