Dublin City Council is moving to evict up to 50 social housing tenants who've failed to pay rent as a "last resort".
Three in five council tenants are in arrears which amount to 31 million euro.
Housing officials. says more and more tenants have gone into arrears in recent years, and plans to take "more forceful action" to tackle the issue.
But the council says it's not a simple issue.
Figures released to 98FM show 40 per cent of those in arrears owe less than 500 euro -- and fall into this category as soon as they're a week behind
Another quarter owe less than €2,000 and just over a fifth owe between €2,000 and €7,000.
8% of tenants in arrears owe between €7,000 and €11,000; 4% owe €11,000 to €19,000, 0.5% from €19,000 to €27,000 and 0.1% more than €27,000.
40 per cent of those in arrears have already agreed plans with the city to pay back their debts.
Councillor Christy Burke says debts rack up for all sorts of reasons.
"As the old saying goes, you can eat and drink in the street but you can't sleep in it -- so make sure to pay the rent. It can be gambling, it can be alcoholism, it can be the lack of funds being handed over -- it can be the lack of anything and the funds run short," he says.
He says any council tenants in arrears should try and settle up, but they should go speak to the council and agree a payment plan.
"When it comes to court, people are inclined to panic, and they run, they take desperate measures for desperate situations," he says.
"Do not attempt to go near money-lenders in order to clear your rent arrears."
"Enter into a settled agreement that suits you and doesn't strangle or deny you financial support for your family. You can get into an agreement that suits you and the manager will accept that," he says.