"That's a social disaster that people who are working hard and have decent incomes can't afford to buy a home."
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has responded to President Michael D Higgins' recent comments about housing, saying he will not criticism them because "some of what he said was true".
President Higgins referred to Ireland's housing issue as "our great, great failure" during a speech in Co Kildare on Tuesday.
Varadkar said that, while the current Government is not responsible for the financial crash or housing situation, the issue is a "social disaster".
Speaking on Newstalk, he said: "You know a couple, both of whom have decent jobs, are unable to afford a home, and that wasn't the case for most of our history, to me that's a social disaster that people who are working hard and have decent incomes can't afford to buy a home.
"Many are so frustrated at that, they're even willing to turn to populism, nationalism, and euroscepticism as a solution, in that scenario they lose their job as well as a house, but that is a disaster in my view."
On Tuesday, attending a facility run by Tiglin, a charity helping people overcome addiction and homelessness, at Jigginstown Manor in Naas, Kildare, the President had said:
"I often ask myself, you know, how republican is what we’ve created? And isn’t it sometimes very much closer to the poor law system that we thought we were departing from?
"That's a real challenge. I have taken as well to speaking ever more frankly in relation to housing because I think it is our great, great, great failure.
"It isn’t a crisis anymore, it is a disaster."
He added that Ireland has to "really think about" meeting the basic needs of its people, listing food, shelter and education as examples.
"Building homes is what is important, it is not to be a star performer for the speculative sector internationally or anything else."
Feature image via Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie