A report to the Taoiseach has warned that thousands of families won't be able to buy their own home for years to come.
The National Economic and Social Council says a range of social classes, including single-earner or single-parent homes, will have to turn to social housing or rental properties.
The NESC report was considered by the Cabinet yesterday, and came ahead of the Government's social housing strategy launch this morning.
It said the removal of supports like local authority loans and tenant purchase schemes have pushed more people out of home ownership and into the rental markets.
The study warns there is reason to believe that those on low incomes, single earner and single parent households will find it "difficult" - if not impossible - to achieve home ownership in the decades ahead.
It says that policy must now address the market trends, and whether ownership or long-term rental should be promoted.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly today launched a new social housing strategy, with plans to build around 35,000 new units to address the spike in number of families who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.