A CENTRE which provides temporary accommodation for homeless people has been slammed as not fit for purpose.

A newly published review by independent experts says the Inverclyde Centre is in poor condition.

Housing consultancy company Arneil Johnston examined it as part of a study they conducted on the local authority's services for homeless people - and found that the Dalrymple Street centre was in 'poor repair and expensive to maintain'.

The findings have prompted councillors to demand an overhaul of homelessness services.

They believe that the temporary accommodation model in Inverclyde is not working and a whole new strategy is needed.

Deborah Gillespie, the council's head of mental health, addictions and homelessness department, says there has been dramatic fall in the number of homeless applications in Inverclyde due to the introduction of an improved housing options process.

But she said more can be done to improve the help given to some of the area's most vulnerable people.

She said: "We're looking at developing a more robust partnership with registered social landlords and there is an improved process to enable people not to need temporary accommodation but access a more settled tenancy.

"At the moment, the supply is not well matched as there is an oversupply of hostels."

Council leader Stephen McCabe warned of the difficulties faced in trying to help homeless people back into permanent accommodation.

He said: "It's very difficult because you have got the needs of the homeless people but you have also got lots of people's aspirational needs for rehousing - and they are competing with a limited pot.

"In an ideal world we would get them rehoused in settled accommodation, but there are huge challenges."

The council's health and social care committee has agreed that a long term strategy should be put in place to modernise the temporary accommodation currenty available in Inverclyde.

Officials will now set up a board and three working groups to tackle the task.