Dublin City Council is to end the practice

Homeless families will no longer be prioritised over other people on the social housing waiting list.

Dublin City Council plans to end the practice to prevent long stays in emergency accommodation.

Instead it will encourage families to use the housing assistance payment to pay a landlord in the private rented sector.

It follows controversial claims by the head of the Housing Agency, that some homeless families were 'gaming the system' in order to jump the social housing waiting list.

Homeless campaigner Father Peter Mc Verry says the latest decision is an indictment of the housing system, 'Many homeless families have come from the private sector and now Dublin City Council is telling them that they must go back into the private rented sector if you want to get permanent accommodation'.