The Government says homeless numbers are stabilising with an increase of just 0.26% in the latest figures.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said the increase from May to June was just 26 people compared to 242 for the same period last year.

However, Focus Ireland said the new record total of 9,872 people homeless must be seen as "totally unacceptable".

The charity's CEO Pat Dennigan said there is a risk that the rising number of homeless people each month is becoming accepted as the norm. He pointed out that the number of homeless families had increased by 170% to 1,754 over the past three years.

Sinn Féin called on the Government to stem the numbers of homeless by bringing in laws preventing landlords issuing notices to quit when selling their property.

Releasing the figures Minister Murphy also said no "miscategorisations" were identified in the latest figures.

In previous months 252 people were removed from the homeless list as the department judged them to be in secure accommodation.

Mr Murphy also said that there had been a reduction of 16% in the housing waiting list. In the first quarter of the year there were 6,146 additional "solutions" for social housing. A further 3,932 were under construction.

Minister Murphy added that following on from the Third Housing Summit with Chief Executives of the local authorities it was agreed that resources will be allocated to preventing homelessness arising from family breakdown which has been identified as a key factor in homelessness.

Meanwhile, Alone - the charity for older people - has said that more housing is needed to prevent homelessness among those retiring while living in rented accommodation.

CEO Seán Moynihan said the pension system never envisaged this situation and there was an assumption that retired people would own their own home.

But he said increasing numbers are retiring without secure housing and that the number of people aged over 60 is expected to increase to 1,312,783 by 2031.

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