SIPTU representatives have today (Thursday, 29th March) demanded that immediate action be taken to solve the housing crisis. The call comes in light of new figures released yesterday which confirm that nearly 10,000 people are now homeless in the State. SIPTU National Campaigns and Equality Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “This figure is absolutely shocking and demonstrates that all the Government is offering people are empty promises. 1739 homeless families and 3,755 children with no home to call their own is a third world statistic for a first world country. It is a national scandal, and all housing policy and decision makers should hang their heads in shame.”“The figures prove that more hubs and more housing assistance payments (HAP) for private rented accommodation are not the solution. Most landlords now won’t take people on HAP as they want to squeeze rents higher and higher. This is putting enormous pressure on working families, especially in the city. More and more people are getting pushed in to homelessness every month. The Government has failed and must now acknowledge that this is a national emergency.”She added: “The Government must immediately take the monies necessary from the rainy-day fund and start building state owned housing and accept that the private sector, which builds for profit, cannot deliver the public housing required to resolve the crisis. If this is not a rainy day, then I don’t know what is.”“It is time now for all politicians who are landlords to absent themselves from debates and votes on the issue of housing because the conflict of interest is clear.”“I am calling on every worker in this country to come out and march with the National Homeless and Housing Coalition in Dublin on Saturday, 7th April, to demand an end to this national emergency.”