Almost 4,000 homeless children are currently living in emergency accmomodation, while some 9,000 family homes are locked out of the housing market as a result of the Fair Deal nursing home scheme.

That's according to Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten, who recently pointed out that the Fair Deal scheme is effectively banning the renting out of vacant houses belonging to older people in nursing homes, as they are hit with a treble penalty under the current means-test rules.

The latest homeless figures published yesterday by the Department of Housing show that 3,848 children in 1,726 families are without a home - while up to 9,000 family homes are falling into disrepair due to the rules regarding rental income - that's five vacant homes for each homeless family.

Speaking to Midwest News today Deputy Naughten says this situation needs to be reviewed ahead of the Budget.

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