Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that the Government has taken a cold, cruel and heartless decision to make people homeless, by its decision to lift the no fault evictions ban at the end of the month.

Mr Doherty was speaking as his party introduced a bill in the Dáil which would extend the eviction ban.

The Residential Tenancies Bill will be debated during private members' time.

There has been further criticism in the Dáil of the Government's decision to lift the no fault evictions ban from the 1 April.

Next week, Labour will table a no confidence motion in the Government unless it reverses this decision.

Mr Doherty told the house that very few people will find alternative accommodation, many will be forced to move into the box room in other family homes, and they will become the hidden homeless.

Government have not answered where people to go when they are evicted at the end of the month, he said.

Responding, the Tánaiste said that extending the eviction ban indefinitely would do more harm than good.

Micheál Martin accused Sinn Féin of objecting to more than 11,000 homes across the country.

Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Brion said that he rejects claims made by the Taoiseach in the House yesterday that Sinn Féin is "playing politics" with housing.

He said that this bill demonstrates how serious the party is, and insisted that it "is the only way" to prevent the "impending catastrophe" of homelessness, and includes a phased ending to the eviction ban from next year.

This evening, Minister of State at the Department of Housing Malcolm Noonan said he is not aware of any evidence that the eviction ban was causing landlords to leave the rental market which caused the government not to extend the ban.

Speaking on the Late Debate with Colm Ó Mongain on RTÉ Radio 1, Minister Noonan said the government was following the advice of the Attorney General and other evidence.

Aontú Leader Peadar Toibín said the government could have used other levers to keep landlords in the market such as tax relief for long term leases and measures to address the issues of short term lets.

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said the housing crisis would not be solved by ending the eviction ban and with its expiry the situation is set to become "dangerous, sad and brutal".

Labour leader Ivana Bacik said the Government has 'lost control'' of the housing crisis (File image)

Labour leader Ivana Bacik said the Government does not have a plan to meet the needs of people when the ban ends in eight days' time.

In the Dáil, she dismissed the Government's latest proposals as "last minute dot com" and said they would not make an "iota of difference" to those about to be "turfed out of the homes".

The Dublin South TD claimed the Government had "lost control" of the housing crisis and was introducing measures, like ending the ban, without an evidence-based approach.

In reply, Mr Martin said retaining the eviction ban would "damage" housing supply and "make the situation worse."

He said the "easy thing" for the Opposition to do was to call for "rent freezes and indefinitely extend bans" but he contended this would only add to insecurity.

The Tánaiste added that the Government strategy was to retain landlords in the market, and entice new people to enter, in order to boost supply.

He said it was a "myth" for Opposition parties like Labour to state that nothing was due while the eviction ban had been in place since October.

Independent TD for Wexford Verona Murphy accused the Government and the opposition of failing to provide any solutions to the housing crisis.

"Nobody won anything yesterday. Nobody. Least of all our reputations to solve problems", Deputy Murphy told the house during an, at times, emotional contribution.

A member of the Regional Independent Group, Ms Murphy chose not to support the Government's countermotion to lift the eviction ban yesterday.

Independent TD Verona Murphy said TDs failed to provide any solutions to the housing crisis

She accused the Minister for Housing of failing to adequately understand issues around the planning system, telling the Dáil that there are around 70,000 approved planning applications that have yet to commence due to viability issues.

Ms Murphy wants viability to form part of the consideration process for planning permissions, adding that it would allow the viability gap to be bridged.

"If I have one homeless child in Wexford, one child that isn't accommodated I'll be bringing it here and it will be sitting in the Ceann Comhairle's lap," she said.

In response, Tánaiste Micheál Martin told the Dáil that it was a "trope" in a parliamentary debate to insinuate that "everyone is talking rubbish except myself".

He defended the opposition, arguing that it had a right to put points to him.

Mr Martin pointed to a planning reform bill which is underway, adding that he agreed that the planning system required improvements.

However, he told Ms Murphy that he did not believe that viability should form part of the planning process because "we'd never get anything through".

He said that viability should form part of policy, which he argued the Government was seeking to address through various measures.