• Experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders is associated with a 2 times greater risk of becoming homeless (65).
  • Experiencing homelessness is likely to lead to feelings of stress, anxiety and exhaustion, and it can be difficult for parents to provide consistent and sensitive care to their baby when coping with this (126).

Local population

The rate of homeless households with dependent children is above the national average in Huntingdonshire and Peterborough, but below the national average in East and South Cambridgeshire (125).

Table 10: Households with dependent children owed a duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act. Image source: Fingertips

Risk factors for poor mental health

  • Parents who are homeless are often the among the most vulnerable in society, with 74% reporting at least one form of adversity as an adult, such as mental health conditions or domestic violence (126).
  • Women who live with young children in homeless hostels and temporary accommodation report having a range of difficulties, including social isolation, significant stress about their living situation, and not having a safe space for their children to play (59).
  • Homelessness often means that families cannot receive the support they need, with many types of homeless accommodation lacking the facilities babies need to thrive (126).



59. Psarros A. Mothers’ voices: Exploring experiences of maternity and health in low income women and children from diverse ethnic backgrounds [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2023 Jan 31]. Available from: https://www.maternityaction.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/MothersVoices2018-FINAL.pdf
65. Womersley K, Ripullone K, Hirst JE. Tackling inequality in maternal health: Beyond the postpartum. Future Healthc J. 2021 Mar;8(1):31–5.
125. Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. Public Health Profiles [Internet]. Fingertips. 2023 [cited 2023 Jan 26]. Available from: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/
126. Hogg S, Haynes A, Baradon T, Cuthbert C. All Babies Count: spotlight on homelessness – an unstable start [Internet]. [cited 2023 Mar 2]. Available from: https://library.nspcc.org.uk/HeritageScripts/Hapi.dll/filetransfer/2015AnUnstableStartAllBabiesCountspotlightOnHomelessness.pdf