A charity supporting older people has described the plight of elderly renters who cannot afford rising rents as a ticking time-bomb and the next crisis in homelessness.

Alone predicts the numbers of elderly people being pushed in to homelessness will surge as Ireland's population ages.

The charity's CEO, Sean Moynihan, has said the trend is already happening on the run-up to Christmas with new older homeless people knocking on the charity's door every day.

The problem of elderly being homeless is compounded as Ireland’s population ages with the numbers of those aged over 60 on the social housing waiting list growing nationally by 11.4% each year between 2013 and 2016 from 4,765 to 6,594 respectively.

A recent ESRI report says the number of people over 65 is set to increase from one in eight people to one in six while the number of people aged 85 and over is set to double.

On RTÉ'S Morning Ireland this morning, 71-year-old Frank told how he would be homeless for Christmas because his landlord has told him he is selling the home he has lived in for the past seven years.

He is on a housing list and also qualifies for the Housing Assistance Payment, but had been unable to find new accommodation.

Frank said he has been told by Alone and Dublin City Council that he would probably end up in temporary accommodation next week. However following his interview this morning he has secured a new home.

The Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said Frank's story has probably encouraged her to work more with agencies such as Alone, and Respond, who look after housing needs of older people.

She confirmed her office did make some phone calls following the interview, but she doesn't think her intervention caused a solution to be found.

Ms Doherty said she genuinely believes the agencies involved were ultimately responsible for finding a solution for Frank. 

Minister Doherty said she is willing to speak with Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy today to look at rental supplements and HAP. 

She said Frank's story has probably encouraged her to work more with agencies such as Alone, and Respond, who look after housing needs of older people.