There has been a drop in the number of homeless families being put up in emergency hotel accommodation in Dublin.

Cathal Morgan of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive told a city council meeting the number has fallen from 174 in April to 150 families, including 311 children, in June.

He confirmed that the city council is in talks with the National Asset Management Agency to take over a site to house 70 of the families in one place.

He said five sites, including some hotels, are being looked at. At present, his staff have to deal with families in 21 different hotels across the city.

Councillors have also been asked to agree to allow private developers to take over council land as a way of getting social housing built.

Assistant manager Dick Brady said 7,000 units have to be built each year to meet demand.

Only 1,360 were built last year and the council does not have the capital to develop housing itself.

Five land banks totalling over 30 hectares have been identified in Coolock and Ballyfermot.

Councillors voted to refer the proposal to its housing committee.