A lecturer in housing and urban economics at the Dublin Institute of Technology has said that the Environment Minister should be able to issue Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) for undeveloped land that developers are "sitting on". 

Lorcan Sirr said such a move could be done in the interest of the common good.

He said that there is unused land around the country that could be used to develop both private and social housing and help ease the housing crisis. 

Dr Sirr added that issuing CPOs for properties with tenants amassed by investment funds would be a very short term solution. 

However, he said reforms should be made to the Residential Tenancies Act so that developers who buy houses with sitting tenants can not evict them. 

He also said it was frustrating to hear Alan Kelly say his hands are tied and these things could be done if the State "had the will".

His comments come after the the Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan, said the State should issue CPOs over the property amassed by venture funds and use it for social housing.

Mr Honohan's intervention follows statements by the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly who claims the constitution is preventing him from tackling the housing problem.