The government should start employing people from abroad to build Irish homes as part of an "aggressive" recruitment campaign for construction workers.
That is according to Ivana Bacik, who says that in order to meet the current shortfall in housing, one million homes need to be delivered in the next 10 years.
Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Cork this weekend, Bacik said that Ireland could make up for the current deficit if 50,000 new homes are built and 50,000 homes are renovated every year for the next decade.
She told On The Record that the current situation is as much a construction crisis as a housing crisis.
"We want government to step up and really to address the need for this level of ambition", she said.
"To have an aggressive recruitment campaign for construction workers from abroad if necessary.
"We know the Irish built Britain.
"When we look back, the immense scale of construction work carried out by Irish workers, I think we can see what can be done."
Under this government, there has been a 'catastrophic' failure to deliver on housing, Bacik says.
The attitudes and decisions of the coalition, she says, are contributing to the homelessness crisis.
"Again and again, this government has turned to the private market to solve its own mess", she told Labour Party members.
"And again and again, developers, speculators and landhoarders have shown that they can't and won' deliver the homes that our communities need."
Listen back to the full conversation here.
Main image shows an apartment development under construction near Griffith Avenue in Dublin in 2022. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews