The Taoiseach has said he has "full confidence" in the Minister for Housing, despite the latest homelessness figures. 

Figures released yesterday show that the number of people accessing emergency accommodation has reached a record high.

The latest figures show that in March 2019 there were 10,305 adults and children without a home and living in hotels, B&Bs and family hubs, an increase of 41 on the previous month.

The number of children in emergency accommodation now stands at 3,821, a rise of 37.

Speaking in Cork, Leo Varadkar said the housing portfolio is a "very difficult job".

"Eoghan Murphy did certainly not cause the housing crisis, that was caused by other people before this Government took up office," he said. 

The Taoiseach added: "Recovering from that (crash) was always going to be difficult. It was always going to take time.

"Notwithstanding the disappointing and very depressing homelessness figures which showed a further increase, we are making progress in other areas," he added.

Mr Varadkar said 18,000 new houses were built last year adding that "we need to get that up closer to 25,000 this year".

He also said that "while homelessness figures aren't going down, the number of people we're lifting out of homelessness is actually going up as well. We're lifting more people out of homelessness than ever before".

Yesterday, Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said the Government's Rebuilding Ireland programme is "failing those in greatest housing need".