A new plan to ring-fence refurbished vacant properties for the homeless has been recommended by Dublin city councillors.

The council's head of housing, Deputy Chief Executive Brendan Kenny, had recommended that all such properties - known as voids - be given to homeless families a way of dealing with those who have "historical priority".

A policy of giving housing list priority to the homeless was changed last June, but there are still 445 families who were in emergency accommodation before that date who still qualify for that priority.

Mr Kenny stated in a report that "at the current rate of allocation to these families it will take some years to resolve their unsatisfactory situation."

He said that many, but not all, have expressed an intention to remain in emergency accommodation until they get an offer of social housing.

There are approximately 60 voids becoming available every month.

Some councillors on the Housing Committee expressed concern that this policy would affect other families on the housing list.

However others spoke in favour including Independent Cllr Mannix Flynn who said it would give immediate help to families in the "diabolical situation" of living in hotels and family hubs.

The committee agreed to recommend that 50% of voids go to the homeless for a trial period of six months.

This proposal will now go to a full council meeting for approval.