New figures show there are 2,600 vacant local authority units across the country as the housing crisis continues. 

The figures were obtained by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen, through a series of Freedom of Information requests to each local authority.

Mr Cowen has accused the Government of not having a plan to deal with the housing issue.

He said: "This is at a time when social housing waiting lists are at historic highs and emergency homeless shelters are running out of space to accommodate the escalating crisis.

"Minister Alan Kelly is continually trying to reassure the public that he has a plan for dealing with the housing crisis.

"However the huge number of vacant housing units across the country shows that no such joint up plan exists," he said.

In response, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said Fianna Fáil's figures were overstated and do not take account of the local authority units that are in the process of being turned around.

He said funding was being provided to local authorities and 2,000 units would be back in use by the end of the year. 

In a statement he said: "Over 2,500 void housing units were brought back into use last year.

"Work is continuing on the remaining voids and whatever funding that is required to do that has and will continue to be provided," he said.

"All local authorities were already provided with funding this year to refurbish voids," Mr Kelly added.