The council spent £4.3 million buying 55 homes in the street in the last four years – an average of £79,000 per house.
But those forced from their homes, in some cases against their wishes, after officials declared the ground beneath them "unsafe" are angry at the council's U-turn.
Paul and Christine Kriehn lived in the street for 27 years and had paid off their mortgage when they were told they had to leave.
And Mr Kriehn said: "We were told our house was unsafe and that we had to move.
"But now the house is still boarded up, no progress has been made, and the council is talking about renovating it and letting it out – unsafe or not.
"It should be a criminal offence. We've been forced to leave a home we loved."
Sheila Clarke lived in Balfour Street for 48 years before she and husband Bernard were forced to move.
The 80-year-old said: "Bernard was born in this street.
"It's very upsetting to hear that the council now plans to renovate the houses because we could have stayed there and Bernard could have died in the house he loved."
Councillor Brian Ward, cabinet member for housing planning and transportation, said the houses were deemed unfit because a variety of internal and external problems.
"We can understand the frustrations of previous residents, but it is not just a case of reopening their old homes for new occupants," he said.
"The work will involve the complete redevelopment of the interiors of the properties and structural work to the outside.
"A heritage study has also identified that architecture at the front of original properties could now be incorporated into new family homes which form part of City Waterside and were requested by the community."