The council is looking to appoint up to eight housebuilders to a framework aimed at boosting affordable housing provision amid rising numbers of social housing applicants.
By implementing a framework, Cheshire East would have greater control over development of surplus council-owned land, it said.
Cheshire East Council currently has more than 8,000 applicants for social housing in the area, and said that current supply levels are not meeting demand.
In a report, the council noted that high house prices in much of the area, together with limited access to private rented accommodation, act as barriers to people on lower incomes being able to acquire property.
A minimum income of £26,200 is required to meet the average private rent level in Cheshire East, according to the council.
Cllr Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “This move is good news, as one of the key issues in the borough is being able to develop the right type of housing that meets the needs of all our residents.
“The approach outlined is that if the council has a surplus site it would have the option to use the proposed framework to control the type, price, design and form of housing on the site, as opposed to selling it and leaving it to a developer to determine the scheme.”
The council is due to consider the framework proposals in greater detail at a committee meeting next week.