Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has welcomed the Government's new housing strategy as an "ambitious step" in addressing what it described as one of the country's main social and economic challenges.

The Government today launched what Taoiseach Micheál Martin described as an "unprecedented" housing plan supported by over €4 billion in guaranteed State funding every year.

Fergal O'Brien, Director of Lobbying and Influence at Ibec, said the new strategy must get the country on track to deliver at least 33,000 quality and affordable homes each year, adding that these targets must be regularly reviewed.

Meanwhile, the Irish Home Builders Association (IHBA) said the "inclusion of positive targeted measures" in the plan will enable supply and support for prospective homeowners who are finding themselves currently 'locked out' of the market.

Director James Benson said that while their members will be working hard to supply these "much-needed homes", it is important that issues such as planning and infrastructure, which are impeding delivery, are also tackled.

The Irish Planning Institute (IPI) was more cautious in its reaction to today's announcement.

Dr Conor Norton, President of the IPI, said that overall, they feel that the strategy "represents a welcome shift in public policy towards the delivery of housing", but that as planners, they would emphasise that delivery of housing "must be part of a larger placemaking approach to development that is place-based and plan-led".

Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland said the plan has indicated four clear pathways to address the challenges faced by the State.

Ms Spillane said that engineers will be integral to the delivery of sustainable housing.

"Through innovative building and construction methods, they will enable the transition to a low carbon and resilient society and will support the sustainable management of water and other resources," she said.