When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Improvement schemes

The Housing Executive can schedule an improvement scheme to update older houses or to ensure properties are kept in a good state of repair.  The Housing Executive could set up an improvement scheme to

  • install new heating in an area
  • rewire properties in an area
  • update older kitchens
  • change flat roofs to pitched roofs.

You’ll normally be consulted about improvement schemes and get an opportunity to give your views on the plan. You’ll be told

  • what type of work will be carried out
  • how long the work is likely to take

In certain circumstances, tenants may be able to opt out of some improvements, but the Housing Executive has a legal responsibility to maintain its properties and the tenant's wishes must be balanced with this legal responsibility.  

Moving out for improvements

Depending on the type of work being carried out, you might have to move out of your home.  If you do have to leave the Housing Executive should offer you alternative housing.  This will normally be in another Housing Executive property, but on rare occasions you might be offered a mobile home.  For each week you have to stay in a mobile home, you’ll be given £220 in compensation.

You’ll normally be given compensation if you have to leave your home because of an improvement scheme.  This is normally £265; £111 when you leave and £154 when you move back in.  You might get more if you have to leave your home for more than 12 weeks.

You shouldn’t have to move out of your home for more than 12 weeks.  If you are out for longer than this, you’ll receive £33 for each extra week that you have to spend out of your home.  The maximum amount of compensation that can be paid is £330, but the Housing Executive can decide on rare occasions to pay more.

Compensation if the Housing Executive can't give you temporary housing

If the Housing Executive is unable to provide suitable temporary accommodation for you and you have to find your own temporary housing, you will be given a special allowance for this inconvenience.  The amount you’ll get depends on the size of your household

  • one to two people - £96 per week,
  • three to seven people - £114 per week,
  • eight or more people - £136 per week.

Staying with friends temporarily

You can also choose to stay with friends or family while the work in your home is being carried out.  The person you stay with won’t have their benefits affected while you stay with them as you’ll be seen as a temporary visitor.

Compensation if you didn’t leave your home

You might be entitled to compensation if you stayed in your home but

  • the work lasted for more than six days and
  • the work caused serious disruptions

You’ll get £128 compensation if this disruption lasted between 6 and 14 days.  You’ll get an extra £33 for every week over the 14 days up to a maximum of 4 weeks. Once the improvements are finished, you could be entitled to a redecoration allowance.

Older Housing Executive properties and stock transfer

In recent years the Housing Executive's budget for repairs and maintenance has decreased. Over the next year or two the Housing Executive may try to transfer some of the properties that it currently owns to Housing Associations to manage.  This is usually because the properties require lots of improvement work which the Housing Executive can't afford to do.  If the stock transfer goes ahead the Housing Association will carry out improvements to the properties.

If your development is selected for a Stock Transfer you should be notified of this plan.  Tenants will have to vote to accept or reject the proposal and will be able to access information on how the change could affect them.