Improvement works in lieu of local authority housing


This scheme enables local authorities to improve or extend privately owned houses as an alternative to providing local authority housing. Carrying out the work must satisfy your housing need and result in your removal from the housing waiting list.

It is aimed at:

  • Owner-occupiers whose homes are overcrowded or sub-standard and who cannot afford to carry out improvements and
  • Local authority tenants, people on the housing list, tenant purchasers or approved housing body tenants who want to move into a home owned by a relative but cannot because the home is sub-standard or too small.

If you qualify, the local authority will carry out works to adapt the house or to provide extra bedrooms. The local authority will pay the full cost of the works carried out and you will then pay a charge to the local authority for a maximum of 15 years. If during the 15-year period, you have paid an amount equal to the total cost of the works, the charge will stop.

The charge will be worked out in a similar way to the differential rent scheme for local authority rents, so it is based on your ability to pay.


You may qualify if you are:

  • Registered on the local authority housing waiting list
  • A local authority tenant or a tenant purchaser and you want to buy a private house and return your present house to the local authority
  • A tenant for more than one year of a home provided by an approved housing body under the Rental Subsidy Scheme and you want to buy a private house and return your present house to the local authority.

The local authority will take into account the urgency of your housing needs and the cost-effectiveness of the proposal when deciding whether to improve your house or your relative's house.

You can sell the house at any time. However, if you do so during the 15-year period of charges or before your total payments equal the cost of the works, you will have to make a repayment to the local authority.

How to apply

Contact your local authority to check whether this scheme operates in your area.

Page edited: 13 June 2017