Local Government & Housing Regulation

Local Government & Housing Regulation Division (LGHRD) supports councils in delivering strong and effective local government. They manage a system which meets the needs of ratepayers and users of district council services and facilities. The Division also maintains the legislative framework for the Local Government Pension Scheme in Northern Ireland.

Functions of Local Government & Housing Regulation Division

  • provide a legislative and policy framework to allow councils to guide local public services (including issuing Local Government circulars)
  • perform Local Government consultations on new local government policy and legislation
  • pay the Rates Support Grant and De-rating Grant to councils
  • develop methods to improve the administration, finance and audit of Local Government
  • oversee and liaise with councils
  • oversee the Local Government Staff Commission (LGSC) and the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC)
  • liaise with the Chief Local Government Auditor


LGHRD has the responsibility to produce and update legislation for district councils. This is divided into Primary and Subordinate (Secondary) Legislation:

Primary Legislation provides a framework for:

  • modernisation
  • administration
  • finance
  • audit

Subordinate Legislation governs a number of council functions, such as:

  • burial grounds
  • crematoria
  • exhumations
  • entertainment licences

Consultations and Policy Development

Consultations are an essential part of policy development. They provide the necessary feedback on proposals for legislative change in local government. As well as having your say, public feedback makes local government’s policies more informed and effective.

Prompt payments 

The Department requests District Council prompt payments performance. These figures are published on a quarterly basis. Information and guidance are available.

Code of conduct

The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 introduces an ethical standards framework for Local Government. Section 53 of that Act permits the Department to introduce a Northern Ireland Local Government Code of Conduct for Councillors.

The code applies to councillors of the current 11 new councils, it also applies to any non-elected person who is appointed to a council committee.

The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 also provides for the investigation and adjudication of alleged breaches of the Code and this is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints. The act also provides for sanctions to be applied if a councillor is found to be in breach of the Code. These include-  

  • no further action to be taken
  • censure
  • partial suspension (eg. from a particular committee or for a particular time period)
  • suspension
  • disqualification

Any allegations of a breach of the Code must be sent in writing to the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints at –

The Ombudsman 
Freepost BEL 1478


The Ombudsman
33 Wellington Place

Local Government boundaries

In June 2012, the Northern Ireland Assembly approved the Local Government (Boundaries) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012.

This sets the boundaries of the 11 local government districts as well as the number, boundaries and names of the wards into which each district will be divided. 

The online map allows you to see councils areas, wards and District Electoral Areas (DEAs) and the relevant councillors in each district.

Maps of council districts and wards are also available to view or download in PDF format

District Rates

District rates as struck by each district council for the forthcoming 2020/21 financial year.

Local Government Pension Scheme

The Local Government Pension Scheme (Northern Ireland) (LGPS (NI)) is a statutory public service pension scheme for employees of local government and other bodies, including the Education Authority, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Translink and Housing Associations. 

Partnership Panel for Northern Ireland

The Partnership Panel (‘The Panel’), which is chaired by the DfC Minister, was established to provide a structured relationship between central and local government, to promote collaboration and synergies between Ministers and councillors; and to provide opportunities for joint policy formation to enhance the co-ordination and delivery of better outcomes for our society. The Panel is expected to meet three times a year and minutes will be published following each meeting.

More information


Related to Local Government & Housing Regulation

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for Communities including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme. You may also request your own personal information, via a Right of Access Request.

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