The Minister for Housing has been accused of trying to put a positive spin on the latest homelessness figures.
According to the Department of Housing, 8,374 people were in emergency accommodation at the end of September – a new record high.
It means the number of homeless people in Ireland has risen by 104 since last month’s update.
Speaking in the Dáil, the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said the number of families in emergency accommodation in Dublin has fallen for two months running.
However Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on housing Eoin Ó Broin said this does not disguise the wider problem:
“You’re trying to put a positive spin to say that the number of families for two months in a row in Dublin has decreased and you are right,” he said.
“It decreased by 32 families from July to August and eight families from August to September – I welcome that.
“But the total number of children who will sleep in emergency accommodation tonight in the city is more than it was a month ago so what is not working?
“Your approach and the policies of your Government are not working.”
Homeless charities have urged the government to declare a national emergency in the wake of the figures.
The national count includes 5,250 adults and 3,124 children – meaning the number of homeless children has risen by 76.
The figures revealed that 690 families remained in hotels and B&Bs around the country.
In Dublin alone, 5,953 people were in emergency accommodation.
Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) chief executive Anthony Flynn said: "A further increase in the number of homeless people in Ireland is a startling indictment on the government,” he said.
“Month-on-month, we have seen consistent increases in those presenting as homeless with no clear intervention to prevent these people becoming homeless in the first place.
“While the number of families that are homeless has dropped over the last six months; the number of children homeless is rising month-on-month.
“This is a National Emergency and needs to be treated as such - the state is failing."