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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3133.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:10 AM

Abstract #110481

Building social capital to improve health in low-income communities: Do public housing regulations help or hurt?

Shawn M. Kneipp, PhD, ARNP, College of Nursing, University of Florida, PO Box 100187, Gainesville, FL 32610-0187, 352-392-9207, skneipp@nursing.ufl.edu

Social justice is an ethical principal fundamental to public health theory and practice. In recent years, the concept of ‘social capital' has been adopted by scholars in health-related fields as a potential mechanism for fostering social justice and thereby improving health in disadvantaged communities. While building social capital is far from a panacea for reversing inequality trends in social and economic resources and/or health, there are many aspects of this ‘theoretical concept' that can be put into practice in meaningful ways by public health nurses. Public housing communities may be particularly amenable to social capital building endeavors given their physical and regulatory structures. However, select regulatory aspects impede these efforts and obstruct the ideal of a more socially just society. This paper reviews the relationships among social justice, social capital, and public health theory and practice as they have evolved in past years. In additional, examples from faculty public health nursing practice sites in public housing areas are presented to illuminate how federal and local housing policies both help and hurt efforts to build a sense of ‘community', cultivate social capital, and ultimately reduce health disparities. Continued dialogue and scholarship in this area are necessary if the goal of housing policy at federal, state, and local levels is to improve the lives and health of disadvantaged populations. Moreover, advancing research in this area will be necessary if evidence-based housing policy development is to be achieved in the future.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Housing, Social Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Low Income Housing Policy: Issues of Social Justice, Social Capital, and Inequalities in Health

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA