The Director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive has said the current level of homelessness could continue for the next four or five years.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time, Eileen Gleeson said supply is "not going to kick in for another four or five years" meaning "we're going to be living with it, in this intensity" until then.

The latest figures, published last week, show there are 1,256 homeless families nationally, with 2,563 dependent children.

There are 1,069 families homeless in the Dublin region, 815 of them are living in hotels.

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has previously said his plan was to have all families out of hotel accommodation by July.

Speaking on the same programme, Mr Coveney defended a plan by his department to convert hotels into family hubs. He said these would only be used as transitional accommodation.

Mr Coveney said: "We obviously want to put families into homes of their own - that is the aim here.

"But in the meantime, while we're putting solutions in place for long-term social housing, we do need to deal with what I regard as a totally unacceptable situation where families are living in commercial hotel rooms, without the necessary normalities around family life."

Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin criticised the minister and said that the length of time families are spending in emergency accommodation has increased.