A FALL in the level of homelessness has been welcomed by housing charities, as MSPs prepare to pass the Bill abolishing social tenants' right to buy their homes.

The right to buy legislation by the Conservative Government in 1980 sparked a revolution in Scottish attitudes to home ownership, but critics say this came at an increasing cost of unwillingness by councils and housing associations to build new homes as they would swiftly be lost to the socially rented stock.

Today MSPs vote on Stage 3 of the Housing (Scotland) Bill which contains a series of reforms to both the social and private sector, including scrapping the right to buy.

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Shelter Scotland's director Graeme Brown said: "An eight per cent reduction in people going through the crisis of homelessness is good news and we congratulate local authorities for their continued prevention work in this area."