100,000 families in need of housing
Social housing needs have jumped 75% over the last three years while State budgets have been slashed, it has been claimed.
The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) revealed almost 100,000 households are now in need of housing, leaving families dependent on private landlords.
Donal McManus, executive director, said the dramatic increase in demand has been silently growing in the background as a result of the recession.
"While the figures have shown a staggering 75% increase, social housing capital budgets have been decimated in recent years with the supply of additional new social rented homes severely reduced and more dependency now on private landlords," he said.
"It is vital housing supports are provided on a sufficient scale to provide hope for people becoming unemployed before this situation worsens."
Mr McManus said there was an urgent need to address the scale of increased demand for social housing and how the State can meet this in the current restricted economic climate with new models of delivery.
The issues will be discussed at a major conference on social housing in Galway this week.
The use of NAMA properties, ghost estates, regeneration of social housing and private finance will be debated.
Organised by the ICSH, speakers include Housing Minister Willie Penrose, NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh and Tom Parlon, of the Construction Industry Federation.