A ban on evictions is not being considered by the Government despite record and mounting homelessness figures.
Homeless organisations and opposition parties not only want the eviction moratorium to be extended beyond April 1 but also other urgent actions to be taken as the number of people forced into emergency accommodation hit 11,632, a new high for the sixth month in a row.
The latest figures show there were 8,190 adults and 3,442 children in emergency accommodation last month.
The system is also coming under additional pressure since the State has stopped providing accommodation to all those seeking international protection from other countries.
Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien said the increase in those requiring emergency accommodation is "worrying" but said addressing homelessness remains a top Government priority.
"While the rate of increase in December has slowed substantially from previous months it is very concerning and emphasises the necessity for the winter eviction moratorium which is in place from November until April 1 this year."
Support organisations including the Simon Communities of Ireland want an extension of the winter measures to keep people in rented accommodation.
"We need the Government to look again at the options available to prevent homelessness and to support people to move on from homelessness. To that end, the Government must plan for the extension of the moratorium on evictions while continuing to work on delivering homes to ensure that the extension is not needed," said Wayne Stanley, Simon Communities of Ireland executive director.
Any extension of the moratorium would require consultation with the Attorney General given the legalities involved and would then require sign-off by Cabinet.
However, it is understood that Mr O'Brien has not yet considered this option and it remains the intention to lift the ban from the beginning of April.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett warned of a "tsunami of evictions coming down the track" when the ban is lifted.
Labour leader Ivana Bacik demanded that, for the remainder of the eviction ban, Mr O'Brien publish figures each month from local authorities on how many tenants-in-situ schemes have been completed, how many are currently being processed and outline reasons why they do not go ahead.
With 5,793 people without beds, Dublin accounted for the majority of those homeless in the week leading to Christmas Day. Some 503 adults required homeless accommodation in Cork, as did 61 adults in Kerry.
Mr O'Brien said the way to tackle homelessness is to increase housing supply and added: "We’ve more than €215m in budget 2023, an increase of 10% on last year, for the delivery of homeless services. This will ensure that local authorities can not only provide emergency accommodation, but importantly support households to successfully exit homelessness and prevent entries into homelessness in the first instance.”
Meanwhile, since the closure of the Citywest transit hub, 55 people seeking international protection were accommodated up to Thursday. This number was expected to increase further overnight.