People receiving social welfare payments will be able to earn rent of up to €14,000 a year without their means-tested allowances being affected, under changes set to be announced today.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys has received Cabinet backing for the move, which she hopes will free up rooms for tenants across the country.

The minister is also introducing changes that will allow the 209,000 people receiving the Living Alone Allowance to accommodate people in their homes.

This is viewed as an important measure in the ongoing effort to find accommodation for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Speaking at of the launch of a construction work recruitment event at Tallaght Stadium in south Dublin Minister Humphreys said that the measures could also benefit "empty nesters" and others who might have space to rent.

She added that the measures were about removing barriers so that households were not afraid of losing their fuel allowance or other benefits.

Work on these measures was already underway prior to the invasion of Ukraine, however the Minister said that the measures will be useful in the context of the influx of refugees to Ireland given that households which pledge accommodation can earn a flat payment of €400 per month.

Three months since the war in Ukraine began, more than 30,000 people have arrived here seeking refuge.

Thousands have been placed in hotels as part of the emergency accommodation as the Government grapples to meet the needs of these refugees.

It is expected to announce plans later today aimed at increasing the housing available with a major focus on encouraging more people to assist in accommodating refugees.

While there have been thousands of offers of vacant homes and shared accommodation offered since this war began, the Irish Red Cross said fewer than 1,000 have been placed in properties.

Sinn Féin's Housing spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin, welcomed the measures announced today but said he was sceptical as to whether it would result in a significant number of extra rooms being made available.

He also warned that many people renting single rooms do not have the same protection as tenants and therefore every effort must be made to ensure that any accommodation made available through this scheme is of an acceptable standard.

With additional reporting from Tommy Meskill