Rent freezes, an NCT style inspection of rental properties and the construction of 80,000 homes over the next five years are among the Labour party's plans to help solve the housing crisis.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said his party "can't be all things to all people", but building social and affordable houses is a core priority.

The party promises to fund the construction of 80,000 homes through a €16 billion fund.

It says it will create a Housing Fund from state assets and other sources including the €4 billion euro "rainy day" fund.

Brendan Howlin said the rainy day fund is "a con".

He says he's advocating a centre left alliance, saying a Red-Green alliance could shape the next Government, forming a decisive block, and for that reason should be included in the RTE debate tomorrow."

Meanwhile, the Labour Party candidate in Mayo is distributing 5,000 trees to voters, as part of his campaign effort.

Kamal Uddin from Castlebar is one of fifteen candidates contesting the four seats on offer in the sprawling constituency.  

Instead of giving voters flyers with his policies, Mr Uddin is offering people birch saplings to plant in their gardens. 

He says the tactic has been getting a warm response and will result in a more environmentally friendly county. 

Mr Uddin purchased the saplings for 35 cent each and says he will continue to distribute them after the General Election, if any are left over after his campaign concludes.

Additional Reporting by Pat McGrath