New building programmes must also cater for homeless, says Peter McVerry Trust

A national housing strategy is essential to deliver homes to those most in need, advocacy agency The Peter McVerry Trust has said.

The trust is calling for the strategy after a report by the Housing Agency showed that at least 80,000 housing units would be needed in urban areas over the next five years.

There are currently 89,000 households on a social waiting list.

Chief Executive of the Peter McVerry Trust Pat Doyle said a lack of houses, rising property prices and rents were leading to a rise in homelessness in urban areas.

He said a national housing strategy needed to cater for the homeless.

"When there are (building) programmes coming from government as the economy grows, a proportion of them must go to the homeless," he said.

"(Without that), homeless people will continue to see themselves outside the loop."

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