Minister of State for Housing Jan O'Sullivan has said the Government has allocated funding to bring back into use 240 empty social houses in Dublin.

It also plans to kickstart the construction of mainstream social housing this year.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms O'Sullivan said her policy is "to get back to building" to deal with the housing shortages.

She said the number of social housing units built will depend on funding.

The minister also said changes are planned for rent supplement, which would allow local authorities directly intervene with rent supplements.

Ms O'Sullivan said an oversight group was appointed with regard to homelessness and the department is implementing its recommendations.

She said: "We spend about €90m a year between my department, local authorities and the HSE on homelessness and we have to make sure that money is spent effectively to address the problem."

Read a report on the human cost of the housing crisis