THE number of Dubliners in need of local authority housing rocketed by two-thirds in three years.
A city council assessment found that a total of 14,512 households were considered eligible for housing assistance as of March 31.
However, the needs of thousands of these could be met through agencies rather than the local authority, leaving a net figure of 8,290 on the social housing list.
This was an increase of 3,299 on the 2008 survey or a jump of 66pc.
Council official Teresa Conlon said one of the problems in providing an accurate picture is that the "homeless population is extremely transient" and "difficult to monitor".
Householders in the 26 to 40 year-old age bracket accounted for 47pc of the net figure, with 18 to 25-year-olds making up 23pc.
Ms Conlon pointed out single applicants increased from 2,505 -- or 50pc of the total -- in 2008 to 5,105 (62pc) in 2011.
"The number of lone parent applicants increased from 1,936 in 2008 to 2,408 in 2011," she added.
Couples with children on the housing list went from 406 to 461 in the three-year period, "a decrease of 3.1pc in the net need", Ms Conlon said.
Her report stated: "While the number of non-Irish citizens has increased significantly (742 in 2008 to 1,485 in 2011), this remained relatively constant as a proportion of the net need (15pc in 2008 and 18pc in 2011)."
As in previous years, households included in the assessment have very low yearly income.
"Households earning less than €15,000 per annum represent 79pc of the net need," Ms Conlon said.
Only a very small minority of the applicants -- 4pc -- earn over €25,000.
Some 61pc were unemployed, compared with only 45pc three years ago.
A further 16pc were receiving lone parent support, while 16pc were employed but on low wages.
Housing authorities are required to undertake a tri-annual assessment of need.