The eviction ban had to end to protect the rental market, Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien has said.
The ban on no-fault evictions is set to be lifted at midnight.
Protests are planned over the weekend to highlight the potentially disastrous impact of the move on thousands of people in the rental sector.
Minister O'Brien told The Pat Kenny Show the measure was always a temporary one.
"The moratorium was brought in on a temporary basis to get through last winter, and we were very clear about that," he said.
"There's no easy decisions on this.
"I had to make a call to see what would be in the best interest on balance.
"I didn't want to further affect the supply of, particularly, rental properties by further extending it and seeing more and more landlords leave the market".
Minister O'Brien said there is 'no cliff-edge' with the ban as it is being lifted on a phased basis.
"There's no cliff-edge on this, this runs until the 18th of June," he said.
"That allows people that time to source accomodation and look at their options".
'A very complex issue'
Minister O'Brien said housing supply has been increased.
"We delivered about 6,000 new social homes," he said.
"We brought back over 1,500 void social homes, and actually used that period of time to exit more families - and indeed individuals - from homelessness".
Minister O'Brien said the housing need is not just from the private rental sector.
"It is a very complex issue, it's not just people coming from the private rental sector," he said.
"It is relationship breakdown, it can be new arrivals - and we have a lot of new arrivals coming in too - and we need to look after everyone.
"We've increased the emergency bed capacity over that period; we added an additional 500 homeless emergency beds.
"We're in the process, since the start of January, adding an additional 2,000".
Minister O'Brien also said they are ramping up purchases of tenants in-situ.
"The sale with tenant in-situ means it reduces the costs for the property owner sunstancially," he said.
"There's no vacancy in the property, rent is received right up to the date of sale," he added.
'This is a horror movie'
Fr Peter McVerry has said lifting the ban is "an appalling decision."
"I think this is a horror movie for all those tenants who have received notice to quit," he told Newstalk Breakfast earlier.
"They're totally at a loss as to what to do.
"There is virtually no emergency homeless accommodation available anywhere in the country.
"Normally families would be put up in hotels, but as we know hotels are full and many hotels are reverting back to tourism.
"I am absolutely horrified at what is going to happen over the next few months," Fr McVerry added.