The number of people in emergency accommodation in Cork and Kerry has almost doubled in twelve months.

Government figures for January show 797 men, women and children were homeless in the region, which is up 3% in one month, and an increase of 48% in 12 months.

The figures also show that there were 108 families in emergency accommodation in the southwest, up 71% from a figure of 63 families in January 2017.

There were 283 children homeless in January, compared to 255 last July.

The number of adults in emergency accommodation has breached the '500' mark for the first time, up 37% in 12 months.

Nationally, just under 10,000 people in the State do not have a permanent home. At 9,987 it is the highest figure on record.

Dermot Kavanagh, director of Cork Simon Community said the figure represented a huge crisis and trauma for so many people across the country and is very discouraging.

He said this figure does not include people sleeping rough,  sofa surfing or in domestic violence refuges, so the true number of homeless people is over 10,000.