The Chartered Institute of Housing has said waiting lists for council properties could be shortened quickly if action were taken to fill empty houses.
The body is releasing a new guide today aimed at helping local authorities fill empty houses - also known as "voids".
Figures released in September show more than 2,600 social housing units across Ireland are empty.
The new document is based on the experiences of local authorities in other jurisdictions.
Director of CIH Nicola McCrudden said: "We've taken good practice from local authorities and housing organisations in the UK and North, to look at things like re-let times.
"If a property becomes vacant for example, it's really important to make sure the local authorities can turn that around quickly so that we can get a family off the waiting lists and into housing."