Scheme of Assistance

The Scheme of Assistance for the Repair and Improvement of Private Sector Housing

Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 the previous system of Improvement and Repair grants was replaced on 1 April 2010 by a new Scheme of Assistance.  All cases are now considered under the legislation contained in the 2006 Act.

The Scottish Government’s policy vision includes:

  • that there will be a cultural change in attitudes to housing quality in the private housing sector;
  • private owners will become more aware of repair and maintenance responsibilities and more proactive in carrying them out;
  • private owners will invest more to ensure their homes have a sustainable future.

The Scheme of Assistance (SoA) developed from the findings of the Housing Improvement Task Force (HITF), which was set up by the Scottish Government in 2000 to undertake a comprehensive review of housing policy as it relates to the condition of private sector housing in Scotland.  The findings were reported in 2003 and led to the introduction of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (383.2kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).  The philosophy behind the SoA is that offering only grant assistance is not the most productive method of ensuring prolonged interest from homeowners in taking responsibility for their own properties and to make the most effective use of the public funding that is directed to assist homeowners.  Rather, it creates a dependency on financial assistance and fosters the opposite effect to that which is desired long-term. 

Each Local Authority has produced their own unique Scheme (also known as a Section 72 Statement) depending on the Private Sector housing needs in each of their areas and in accordance with their Local Housing Strategy. 

 The  Comhairle’s Scheme of Assistance (725.0kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) 
(Also available from Comhairle Offices.) 

The Comhairle’s Scheme now focusses primarily on mandatory adaptations for people with disabilities. 

However, the Comhairle is committed to working with home owners to optimise the expected change in attitude towards repairs and maintenance and will provide appropriate information and advice to people who wish to carry out works to their home.  The level of advice to be provided will be both verbal and in leaflet form.  There are a range of leaflets available which provide information and advice and include topics such as:

  •  how to maintain the home (including cyclical maintenance required from time to time);
  • how to identify and organise repairs and improvements;
  • how to pay for building repairs and maintenance;
  • electrical safety in your home;
  • how to select an appropriate contractor to carry out the works, etc.


If you wish to make further enquiries about the Scheme you should contact:

For Lewis and Harris:
Housing Services
Development Department
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Council Offices
Sandwick Road 
Isle of Lewis

Tel: 01851 822691

For Uists, Benbecula and Barra:
Building Standards
Development Department
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Council Offices
Isle of Benbecula

Tel: 01870 604990

Adaptation Grants

In respect of Adaptation Grants applications can still be made to adapt a disabled person’s home to meet their particular needs. 

In close consultation with the Comhairle, the Occupational Therapy Service has updated their Joint Policy for Provision of Adaptations  (655.2kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)to reflect the requirements of the 2006 Act.

In addition, the Comhairle has produced Scheme of Assistance – Works to Meet the Needs of Disabled People (170.1kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

All adaptations must be supported by a referral from the Occupational Therapy Service.

If your home requires such work, then to start the process you should contact either of the following organisations or alternatively contact the Comhairle direct at the appropriate address for your area shown above.

Tighean Innse Gall
(Western Isles Care and Repair)
13-15 Francis Street

Tel: 01851 706121

(01878 710200 for North & South Uist / Benbecula / Barra)

Occupational Therapy
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar / Western Isles Hospital
Isle of Lewis

Tel: 01851 822847

 The Scottish Government (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)  (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)website has a number of links that provide further details on Private Sector Housing topics and the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.