Focus Ireland helped a record number of 1,829 households to avoid homelessness or to find a new home last year, according to its annual report.

The charity's founder and Life President Sr Stanislaus Kennedy has called on the Government to set annual targets in meeting its pledge to end homelessness by 2030.

Its report detailed how 1,359 households were supported into settling into a new home, while a further 470 were supported in keeping their existing homes.

A total of 12,300 people engaged with Focus Ireland services, with 275 adults supported through the charity's Preparation for Education Training and Employment programme.

Sr Stan said: "The Government now needs to set out annual targets for reducing homelessness, so that we see the impact of the Government's commitment and redouble our efforts if we are not making the progress needed.

"To reach that goal we need to be actively building more social housing, taxing those who hoard building land and better protecting the rights of tenants facing eviction."

She said the delivery of social housing continues to rely heavily on acquisitions and leasing with a consistently low level of new building.

"A whole-of-government approach, with a dedicated delivery unit devoted to the coordination of built-for-purpose social homes by the State, is required," she added.

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