The Lord Mayor of Dublin says people who are homeless or sleeping rough will not be moved out of tents.
Alison Gilliland was responding to comments by the head of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan.
On Monday he suggested homeless tents around the capital add to a 'perception' that the city is unsafe.
"There are other aspects, like the proliferation of tents - and I'll get into trouble for saying this - but we don't think people should be allowed sleep in tents when there's an abundance of supervised accommodation in hostels," he told The Hard Shoulder.
"We've had up to 100/150 beds available every night for homeless people, and we would have thought that it's not unreasonable that in those situations, if you're homeless, you'd go into a professionally managed hostel."
However Mr Keegan said there is "massive pressure" to allow people to camp on the street.
Mayor Gilliland told Lunchtime Live outreach teams need to persuade more people the accommodation is safe.
"There's a certain point there that is not ideal that people feel that their only option is to sleep in a tent on our streets."
She says a trusting relationship takes time to build.
"That ball is very much in our court with regard to reaching out to homeless people, building relationships with them and that does take time.
"Particularly where it's a trust relationship: if they feel they're better and they're safer in a tent, we have to do better to convince them and persuade them that we can provide them with safe homeless emergency accommodation.
"It's not ideal that they're in tents - but in order to help them move from being in that situation we have to do better in our outreach programme for them."
'Great learning from COVID'
She says the prospect of removing such tents is not something she supports.
"It's not that they should be removed, and we're not going to come along and remove people out of tents.
"What we're trying to do with our outreach teams is to connect with those people who are living in tents.
"A lot of them have very complex needs, they are very visible to people and they see the need on the street.
"We've engaged people who have mental health and addiction expertise in our outreach teams with a view to building up those relationships with the people who feel that they have to live in tents or who have to rough sleep."
She says they are also moving to more own-room accommodation.
"We had a great learning from COVID where, when we went into lockdown in March 2019, we provided single-room accommodation.
"A lot of it was in hotels because that's what we could requisition at the time.
"And those people who had that room with their own door - where they could leave their personal belongings and their personal belongings would be safe... we learned from that and we saw the positive mental health impact that own-room accommodation has."
Asked whether tents give a perception that the city is unsafe, she says this is true for some people.
"For some people there is no issue, from a safety perspective, of seeing tents in the street.
"They realise that there's people sleeping in them, there's people homeless.
"For others they may feel unsafe because it adds to the perception of the city not being safe".