Darragh O'Brien has disputed a suggestion that housing in Ireland is 'a disaster'.
The Housing Minister was responding to comments from President Michael D Higgins earlier this week.
President Higgins described the housing crisis as a 'disaster' and said that housing policy was a "great, great failure".
Asked if he believes it is 'a disaster', Minister O'Brien told The Hard Shoulder: "No it is not, but it's very difficult for people.
"I'm acutely aware of the 10,000 people who are homeless in this country who need a safe and secure home.
"The thousands of people who are waiting for social homes, and indeed that whole cohort of people.... who are looking for affordable housing.
"And the good news is on that is that we're delivering more social homes this year than ever - we've the money and the resources to do it".
Minister O'Brien says he has nothing but respect for the President.
"I know our President very well for a long number of years - he's a person that I respect, that I regard, that I voted for in the last two presidential elections.
"I won't get into a position where I would be criticising or debating with the President.
"He is obviously above politics and rightly so - I think he does a very good job.
"That said I do want to be very clear, that certainly our Housing for All plan - which is only nine months old and which is taking effect right now - is certainly not a disaster or anything like it.
"We are seeing this year - and I agree with the President on this - he wants the State to be involved in a major way in delivering social housing this year.
"We intend to build more new social homes in 2022 than has been done in any other year in the history of the State.
"So the State is the main player on the pitch with regard to housing".
But he admits there are some serious challenges.
"The President, to be fair to him, has a long-standing interest in social justice as I do - in housing, as I certainly do - but I am more positive about the policies that we're pursuing because they're taking root.
"So we have very serious challenges on housing: absolutely we do, and I've never sugarcoated that."