Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has admitted the Government missed its target for building new social homes last year.

However, he told the Dáil that 6,500 new social homes were provided and that is possibly the highest number ever provided in the State.

The overall main target of 25,000 new homes "looks like it will not only be met, but exceeded at 28,000," he said.

However, he admitted that housing is "holding us back as a country and a society".

This evening, a spokesperson for the Taoiseach said that the social housing statistics for 2022 are still being compiled and have not been finalised.

"While it is anticipated we will miss the original target for 2022, the final new-build social housing figure will be much higher than the estimate of 6,500 provided in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform ministerial briefing and it is likely to be the highest outturn since the 1970s," they said.

Social Democrats Co-Leader Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach "what is the point of having targets?"

She said the original target of 9,000 social homes was reduced quietly in November to 8,000 and reduced further in December to 6,000.

Ms Murphy said there were record number of people in their 20s and 30s living in childhood bedrooms unable to afford a home.

No 'cliff edge' for Government supports

Mr Varadkar also said many people are worse off this year than last year as a result of rising costs.

He said some Government supports will expire at the end of February, but there will not be a "cliff edge".

The Government is to sit down soon and work out which measures will continue beyond the end of next month, he told the Dáil.

"We will make sure people have certainty long before the end of February comes," he said.

Some measures such as changes to the fuel allowance scheme, childcare supports and the renters' credit are permanent, he said.

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald told the Dáil that the cost of living crisis has not gone away and for many households it is getting worse.

She said that even though there are more interest rate hikes to come, the Government is not introducing mortgage interest relief.

Ms McDonald asked that struggling households are given certainty and urged Government to reveal the "shape of its plan".

Additional reporting Mícheál Lehane