President Michael D Higgins has suggesting local authorities should apologise for the lack of social housing.
The President was attending the launch of the annual report of Merchant’s Quay Ireland, which provides services to homeless people and drug users.
The charity saw increases in demand for all of its services last year, and is particularly concerned about the level of homelessness this winter.
President Higgins said that local authorities have been lacking in this area.
"I think it would be a great thing to hear from some authoritative body, like the County and City Managers (sic) Association, 'we're sorry we didn't value social housing more'.
He quipped: "That's just a non-political view from the Áras", which was greeted with laughter an applause.