A group of homeless families are occupying a show house in an estate in Ongar, Blanchardstown demanding action over the ongoing housing crisis.

The group, who are accompanied by Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger, began occupying the property in Hansfield estate after 3pm during a public viewing.

They are calling for social and affordable housing to be made available.

In a statement on behalf of the protesters, Ms Coppinger said the action was taken to highlight the injustice that only private and NAMA housing was coming on the market during a homeless emergency.

"Then only housing on offer is private or NAMA, with a maximum of 10% social housing. This is simply not enough when there are over 6,020 families on the local list and thousands more struggling to pay rents." 

The Dublin West TD said those taking part in the occupation have lost their rented homes and are now living in hotel and B&B accommodation.

Calls for Government to declare national emergency

Meanwhile, housing campaigners have called on the Government to declare the housing crisis a naitonal emergency.

Speaking at a conference on housing at Dublin's Liberty Hall, Dr Rory Hearne said that such a declaration would allow the Government to spend more money to address the issue.

He said it would allow the Government to introduce emergency legislation on rent certainty and to negotiate with the European Union on the fiscal space available for social housing.

He also called for the Government to triple the funding for the capital plans and the social housing strategy.

He argued that only €550million is available, but said that should be €1.5billion, which would provide 10,000 social housing units per year.

Also attending the conference Independent Councillor on Galway City Council Catherine Connolly said homeless is also at crisis point in the western city. 

She said that no social housing units have been built in the city since 2009.

Cllr Connolly added homeless families are being accommodated in hostels, tourist B&B's and hotels and private apartments.

She described this as an unsustainable use of public money and said the private rental market is not meeting housing need in the city.