A staggering 67% of people in the West Midlands fear it will be impossible for future generations to have a home to settle down in, new research by housing and homelessness charity Shelter reveals. The Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by Shelter and British Gas as part of a new study into the meaning of home in Great Britain today, exposes alarming social trends caused by the current housing shortage.

Nationally the research showed that for recent generations, the chance to have a ‘forever home’ has been slipping increasingly out of reach. Worryingly, 74% of people in younger Generations X and Y said it is harder for them to get a home to settle down in than it was for their parents’ generation. This compares with only 44% of people born in the Baby Boomer or Pre-War years.

A large majority of people who don’t currently live in a long-term home say they would like to, either now or in future, with most saying the key reason is to give them stability or to put down roots. However, the reality of life for the millions of young people and families who make up ‘generation rent’ is very different, with the research showing that 25-34 year olds in Britain today have moved more than twice as frequently per year of their lifetime as pensioners.

This new research marks the launch of the Great Home Debate. In its 50th year of striving to end bad housing and homelessness, Shelter, with support from British Gas, wants to have the country’s biggest ever conversation about the meaning of home. It will use people’s views from the Great Home Debate to shape new standards for homes in the 21st century.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “The fact that vast numbers of people fear their grandchildren will never have a home to put down roots in, highlights the sad truth that this country is once again at the mercy of a housing crisis.

“While we have made progress over the last 50 years, our current housing shortage means millions are facing a lifetime of instability and, understandably, people are giving up hope. But if our history tells us anything, it’s that together we can make things change.

“For the sake of future generations we cannot make this crisis someone else’s problem. We’re urging the nation to tell us what they really need from a home – so we can better help those who aren't lucky enough to have one. At Shelter we won’t stop until we all have a place to call home.”