Improvement Works in Lieu of Local Authority Housing Scheme

What is the Improvement Work in Lieu of Local Authority Housing Scheme?

The Improvement Work in Lieu of Local Authority Housing Scheme (IWILS) allows your local authority to improve privately owned accommodation, which is unsuitable for you, instead of providing you with local authority housing.

For example, if are on the social housing waiting list and you decide to move into a privately owned home, the local authority may pay to extend or improve the home, so you can live there. If the home is suitable for you when the work is complete, your housing needs will have been met and you will be removed from the social housing waiting list.

The Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 sets-out the main rules of this scheme.

Do I qualify for the scheme?

You may qualify for the scheme if:

  • Your application for social housing has been approved
  • You are a local authority tenant or a tenant purchaser who wants to move to a private home and return your present home to the local authority
  • You are a tenant of an approved housing body (AHB) and you want to buy a private house and return your present house to the AHB
  • You own your home, but it is overcrowded or sub-standard and you can’t afford to improve it

How much does it cost?

The local authority will organise and pay for the work. You will pay a charge to the local authority for the works based on how much you can afford. The charge will last for a maximum of 15 years. If you have paid for the full cost of the works during the 15-year period, the charge will stop. If you sell your home during the 15 years, or before you have repaid the cost of the works, you will have to make a repayment to the local authority.

How do I apply?

You apply to your local authority for this scheme. Contact them if you have questions about the scheme and to check if it operates in your area.

How does the local authority decide on applications?

When deciding whether to adapt the home, the local authority will consider:

  • The urgency of your housing needs
  • How cost-effective your proposal is

Page edited: 13 March 2023