Housing associations are calling on the Government to use supported housing schemes as an alternative to nursing homes as part of the Fair Deal scheme.

The Irish Council for Social Housing will tell Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy at their AGM that supported housing is often a better option for older people unable to stay in their home and the costs are less than a quarter of nursing home care.

The council's member organisations currently manage more than 7,000 units for older people and it is calling for a network of supported housing schemes as part of the Ireland 2040 objective to develop Age Friendly Communities.

Irish Council for Social Housing Chief Executive Dr Donal McManus said: "Older people want to remain in their community in an environment with care supports that maximise their dignity, autonomy, privacy and independence.

"Budget 2019 presents an opportunity for the state to get its ducks in a row and make this value for money investment at local authority level using a multi-agency approach."