The Minister for Housing has said the latest homeless figures, due to be released today, will show an increase in homeless families nationally but a decrease in homeless families in Dublin.

Eoghan Murphy was before the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government.

He said areas such as Limerick, which has a large number of homeless families, will be able to benefit from funding for family hubs.

He said he had been given assurances that families in Limerick would be housed in either hubs or social housing before Christmas.

"More work is going to have to be done outside Dublin than was done previously," Minister Murphy told members.

He also said he would announce further measures on affordable homes next week on the building side, while after the Budget there would be another round of affordability measures for buyers.

There were sharp exchanges between Fianna Fáil's housing spokesman Barry Cowen and Minister Murphy over the Government's vacant property strategy.

Mr Cowen said it was disappointing that there was no vacant house strategy and called on the minister to support his party's bill next week to streamline certification and bring older buildings into use.