Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has said the only way the homeless crisis is going to be solved in the long term is to make sure that the country is building far more social housing homes than the State is building at the moment.

It comes as there have been calls for 90,000 social housing units to be built.

Mr Murphy said he wants to provide homes for homeless families and that means building new social housing homes.

Speaking to RTÉ News, he said that the State has to do more in this area.

He said unfortunately for quite a number of years the State was not building social houses and the private sector was not building houses either.

Mr Murphy said the country was coming from very far back, but can catch up very quickly if new ambition and resources are added.

The minister said we have a crisis when it comes to homelessness in this country and have had it for quite some time.

Mr Murphy said it has been building particularly over the last couple of months.

Reacting to a teenager and her family who spoke about being homeless on this morning's RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said he was very sorry that she was in that situation.

Social Justice Ireland, meanwhile, has called on the Government to build 90,000 social housing units. The think-tank believes that this could be done within five years.

Focus Ireland says more social housing is needed and quickly, but it said local authorities around the country have said the current funding mechanisms are too slow and are causing delays.

They are calling for them to be fast-tracked.

Socialist TD for Dublin West, Ruth Coppinger, has said that local councils are not being adequately financially resourced to help tackle the crisis. 

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, she said the housing crisis is most concentrated in three or four council areas and if the political will was there to address the issue in areas, including Cork, Fingal and Dublin City, the crisis could be resolved quite quickly.

She said the tendering process should be eradicated and councils should be allowed build homes directly. 

Ms Coppinger said there is no sense of urgency from Fine Gael or their partners in Government in relation to the homeless problem.

Minister Murphy is hosting a housing summit on Friday with the chief executives of each of the 31 local authorities to see what new solutions and measures are needed.

He said it will not be a question of money, ideology or resources standing in their way.