THE Government has vowed to eradicate long-term homelessness by the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
The strategy will revolve around property leasing rather than purchases, access to NAMA housing stock and fast-tracking homeless people from emergency shelters to special transitional housing.
Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan defended the new strategy and its 2016 target as achievable despite the fact the former Fianna Fail-led government failed to deliver the same target with greater resources by 2011.
She said the goal could be achieved by a better use of resources.
The new strategy was devised in co-operation with Focus Ireland and other charities.
The policy has also been endorsed by poverty campaigner, Fr Peter McVerry.
"We welcome the commitment to ending long-term homelessness by 2016 through a housing-led approach. We also support the emphasis on a strong prevention strategy to decrease the number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time – at present we have around eight people a day presenting as homeless in Dublin alone," Pat Doyle, of the Fr McVerry Trust, said.
Ireland now spends on average more than €100m annually in homelessness supports through state and Health Service Executive (HSE) payments.
Ms O'Sullivan denied that the new policy would impact on funding for emergency shelter groups which remains unchanged for 2013.
More than 3,000 people are estimated to be homeless in Ireland.