INVERCLYDE'S largest housing provider has stepped up during the Covid-19 outbreak to help homeless people.

River Clyde Homes says it has increased the number of temporary flats it has available to 34.

The social landlord provided 14 of these properties to people without a permanent roof over their heads.

Many of these vulnerable individuals have underlying health conditions and are now in safe and secure accommodation across Inverclyde.

Social distancing measures and restrictions on the number of people who could work on a property made the 'turning around' of unoccupied properties difficult for the River Clyde Homes team during lockdown.

But despite these issues, the team from its Home Fix Scotland repairs division completed work on 47 unoccupied properties.

River Clyde Homes was also the first social landlord to begin letting properties in Inverclyde again as restrictions eased.

The association says that housing officers quickly adapted to social distancing measures, using a contactless process for viewings.

As a result, 117 homes now have new tenants.

A total of 24 of these new tenancies are in newly built homes in the Slaemuir area of Port Glasgow.

During lockdown, the team at the housing association also made daily 'reassurance calls', provided financial advice and delivered food parcels to people across Inverclyde who have been struggling to get by.

Jonathan Grant, head of customer services at RCH, said: "One of the many challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, not least dealing with families who need a new home, was providing support to those who don’t have one.

"By working with the council and our health partners, we have been able to provide some certainty to those who are struggling despite it being the most uncertain of times.

"RCH Group will continue to do all we can to protect individuals and families across the area from coronavirus."