A group representing all sectors of the property industry has called for the appointment of a housing minister.

Director of Property Industry Ireland Dr Peter Stafford said the emergency in the housing sector is so significant that the PPI believes the role should be "beefed up to Cabinet level".

He said he saw the role of a minister for housing as one with a one-item agenda to oversee a sustainable recovery in the property market and ensure a supply of good quality affordable housing.

Dr Stafford said the ESRI and others are saying Ireland needs around 21,000 to 25,000 houses a year to keep up with demand.

He said there are a lot of different agencies and departments collecting different data on either house building, occupancy or prices but there is very little activity in bringing all of that data together in one place to see what is happening to supply-demand dynamics.

PPI, which is part of Ibec, said the under-supply of housing is undermining Ireland's ability to attract and retain workers. 

Dr Stafford said they have heard from a number of Foreign Direct Investment companies who want to expand in Dublin but who are finding it very difficult to find accommodation for their staff.

Following negotiations between the Departments of Finance and Environment, ministers will discuss a range of measures to tackle the housing problem and rising rents at this morning's Cabinet meeting.

The most significant measure, which has been leaked, is that landlords will only be allowed to increase residential rents every two years.