The number of people in emergency accommodation reached a new record high of 7,421 last month, official figures show.

The figures, which have been released this afternoon, are an increase from 7,167 in January and from 7,148 in December.

Breaking down the figures, the number of homeless adults increased from 4,760 in January to 4,875 last month.

The number of children experiencing homelessness has risen from 2,407 to 2,546.

The number of homeless families has also risen from 1,172 in January to 1,239 last month.

The overall number of homeless people increased by 254 individuals - or 3.5% - between January and February.

Of the 1,239 families counted, 85% (1,055) were in Dublin's four local authority areas.

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has described the homelessness figures for February as "disappointing".

"February's figures are a stark reminder of the difficulties we face in dealing with the homelessness problem."

He continued: "While we are finding more homes for people who find themselves homeless, we remain fully focused on increasing supply which is at the core of our housing challenges.

"There are no simple solutions here but I will continue to work with my colleagues in Government to address the major challenge that homelessness presents."

Focus Ireland has said that the homeless crisis in Ireland "continues to deepen as huge numbers of families are still losing their homes".