The Simon Communities in Ireland have said that newly released emergency accommodation figures are the highest since records began.

The agency says that the national figures, released for July, show that there are 6,525 people in emergency accommodation, a year-on-year increase of 40%.

This includes 2,348 children, a year-on-year increase of 70%.

Niamh Randall, spokesperson for the Simon Communities, said "The Government must immediately act on the commitments contained in the Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.

"We welcome the action plan and believe it can, and must, have a significant impact on people becoming homelessness and those experiencing housing difficulties.

"The plan represents the start of a process. It is essential to build on this momentum with the ongoing support of the Cabinet and members of Government.