Thousands of people who have pledged to house refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine are still waiting for garda vetting.

Irish Red Cross Secretary General Liam O'Dwyer said that so far there have been 3,000 vacant homes and 6,800 shared accommodation places offered to house Ukrainians.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said that in the case of shared accommodation, everyone in a household that has pledged to house refugees have to be vetted and take part in a Zoom call as part of the process.

"Shared accommodation it's fine for adults, but if you're moving in with a family, obviously there’s garda vetting involved, and that's work that we have undertaken and every single one of the 6,800 have been contacted and have been offered garda vetting," he said.

Mr O'Dwyer said that it is "an arduous enough process in the sense that there's an initial call. There's a zoom meeting for everybody over 16 in the house. And then, once all of that is completed, then the form is sent to them and the form for everybody in the house has to be sent to the gardaí with all of the information."

So far, 1,300 households are through the process and a further 800 to 900 are in process and should be completed in the next week to two weeks, he added.

Mr O'Dwyer said that around 30% of the people contacted have since changed their minds, or circumstances have changed.

He said there are no staffing issues leading to a delay in assigning accommodation, but it is a "complex process in itself, and there is a substantial number of people who have taken in refugees through informal contacts.

He said the Red Cross has been asked to intervene in finding accommodation for people who will have to leave student housing and campuses where they have been staying.

The Government has said that 3,000 Ukrainian people currently being housed in student accommodation have been told they must leave where they are staying before the end of the month.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said it has agreed exit dates to ensure that accommodation is available to students ahead of the new academic year.

Mr O'Dwyer said: "It's a significant problem when you look at what's coming down the line. If the numbers keep increasing as they are, I would expect to see quite a take-up now in pledged accommodation in the next month to six weeks, simply because the people in the universities will have to move out, they'll have to move out by the first week of September.

"So, there is a move on by local authorities, by the Red Cross and by other voluntary organisations to enable that to happen and to for that to happen swiftly."

He said it is possible that people could be housed in tents such as Gormonston for more than a week at a time.

"This is a grave crisis now. It's a great crisis there's no doubt about it, and the options that are there for Government in relation to institutional accommodation in relation to accommodation in communities, some of which is really not of a high standard, but it is an emergency situation, and I think we have to recognise that."