“TOTO, we’re home ... I'm not going to leave here ever, ever again because I love you all … there’s no place like home,” says Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz.

Her poignant insight into the power of home is as true today as it was 77 years ago when this iconic film first hit the screen. These days, though, in the interests of realism, Dorothy’s script would probably need to read something like:

“Toto, we’re home.. I'm not going to leave here ever, ever again (or, at least, not until this six-month rolling lease is up ... then we’ll see what the landlord says).”

Last week saw the publication of two separate pieces of research into the housing crisis in the UK by the Equality Trust and The Resolution Foundation. The research confirms what we all feared: that many people in the UK, particularly those aged between 20 and 40 years, face a future without a stable home and could be locked out of home ownership and secure housing for decades to come. Currently, because the cost of private rentals is so high, nine out of 10 renters (six million UK households) cannot even scrape together the minimum 5 per cent deposit required to purchase their first home. Many mortgage lenders ask for much higher deposits – often 20 per cent – making the home-owning dream nothing more than a castle in the air.

For Generation Rent, the prospect of setting up home is slipping through their fingers as quick as sand gets swallowed up in a concrete mixer. The lack of affordable and secure housing seems set in stone, while growth in private rentals is sky-high, just like the cost of rents. Denying people access to affordable and stable homes is creating a worrying and costly mix of social, physical and mental health problems which will have to be managed for many years to come.

Those lucky enough to be in secure and well-maintained housing, whether through ownership or social housing providers such as housing associations, probably something don’t consciously think about the meaning of "home". They don’t have to: house and home are always there, the same bricks, the same place. Home is an extension of and expression of, self. But ponder for a moment and think about what home really means for you.

My guess is that you won't envisage the foundations, the window frames, bricks, pipes, ventilation system or even, that tracker mortgage you were so lucky to get all those years ago. More likely, "home" is a multidimensional concept, a symbol of a safe haven. Home is asylum where we can retreat in order to lick our wounds when the tricky business of life, work and relationships gets even trickier. It is the very familiarity of the bricks and mortar that helps us to build and reinforce our sense of personal identity.

For most of us, the home where we grew up is the stage set for our earliest memories and where we set the foundations for our sense of identity and belonging. Secure housing is a key ingredient for physical and emotional development and wellbeing. Without it, we are all at sea. For children brought up in the private rented sector where tenancies are terminated at the whim of mercurial buy-to-let markets or unscrupulous landlords, home is more a rolling space to eat, sleep and shelter from the rain, meeting only the most rudimentary needs. The only consistent theme for families in the private rented sector is that the space is not their own, they have no place to call home. This has a negative impact on children's health and education and creates chronic stress in the beleaguered parents who, literally, have to keep the show on the road. Single people also suffer the same fate, moving back home with elderly parents in their 30s and 40s, unable to secure stable, affordable accommodation. I know many people who are still flat-sharing in their late 40s and 50s because they cannot get on the housing ladder and can't get social housing because there simply isn't enough to go around.

Without the sense of the belonging that stable housing engenders, it is almost impossible to navigate the turbulence of life and daily living. If "home" has to be demolished and rebuilt on another site every six-18 months (as is often the norm in the private rented sector), life quickly becomes one big, messy building site where nothing ever gets finished and the concrete never sets. Instead, families and individuals are forced to launch themselves into life from wobbly foundations that are unlikely to stand the test of time. The consequences of this are far-reaching. When young people are brought up in this environment of constant change, unable to complete their education in the same school or keep the same friends in the same neighbourhood, they have no chance of establishing a sense of home within themselves, making them more vulnerable to anxiety and depression in young adulthood. Without the sanctuary of stable bricks and mortar, nothing is solid and rootedness merely a pipe dream. It's a crying shame.