Manchester City Council has granted planning consent for the restoration of the home where novels including Cranford and Wives and Daughters were written.
Elizabeth Gaskell lived in Plymouth Grove, Ardwick from 1850 to 1865 and the house remained in her family until 1913. Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte both visited the house.
The Grade II*-listed Regency style Villa was built in the 1830s and the permission will allow a range of work to be carried out. It is one of the few Regency style villas left in Manchester and still has many of its original features.
Work will include repairing dry rot, fitting a new roof, new drains and lime plaster on the exterior walls. The original features will also be restored as well as the house being given disabled access, and a lift to all the floors.
Once the work is completed, the house will be used for a wide range of community events, exhibitions and meetings.
Janet Allen, chairman of the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust which owns the house, said: "This is excellent news, having this permission will allow us to bring the building back to its former glory so that everyone can enjoy it. We have enough money to fund some of the first phrase and are in the process of raising the rest of the £2.5m that is required."