The chair of the Housing Agency has said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was correct to say Ireland had a low rate of homelessness by international standards.

Mr Varadkar has been criticised for the comment, which was made at the Fine Gael national conference over the weekend.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Conor Skehan said homelessness was a dreadful thing but it was normal and does happen.

He said that there were currently homeless crises in Germany and Spain, adding that the Government was not doing anything wrong.

Mr Skehan said the challenge was to see if the Government was dealing with the problem effectively and compassionately.

He said we needed to take the emotion out of the situation and address how we were dealing with the problem.

However, the head of policy and communications at the Simon Communities said the figure did not compare like with like, as there were different way of defining homelessness.

Speaking on the same programme, Niamh Randall said we needed to be careful about rewriting the homelessness narrative because we were in danger of normalising the homeless and housing crises.

She said that those in emergency accommodation want to hear that there were solutions and a way to implement them.

She said she disagreed with Mr Skehan's comments, saying that we needed to decide if we are an economy or a society.