Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Deirdre Oakley

Second Advisor

Heying Jenny Zhan

Third Advisor

Erin Ruel


HOPE VI, instituted in 1993 and subsequent related policies, resulted in the demolition of traditional public housing and the relocation of former residents. For former residents living on low incomes, combining housing subsidy and other social services is important to survival. One crucial type of social services support provides food supplements. Research indicates that among low-income families, many do not receive necessary food social services. For example, among eligibles, food stamp utilization is at 50 to 60%, and for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) rates vary from 38 to 73%. Research indicates that 35% of food insecure older adults are ineligible for the Elder Nutrition Program, and approximately 60% of eligibles are wait-listed upon application. Social services utilization patterns among eligibles are affected by neighborhood contexts. Relocation due to public housing transformation policies has been shown to change neighborhood context. This in turn has affected former public housing resident’s cultural capital and social capital. But how this affects food social services utilization has not been studied. I use Klinenberg’s (2002) activist client thesis as a framework to investigate the effect of cultural capital and social capital for housing subsidy recipients (relocated public housing residents) in Atlanta on their utilization of food social services using secondary longitudinal data from the Georgia State University Urban Health Initiative analyzed using ordered logistic regression. Most specifically, my research investigated how varying neighborhood contexts affect food social services utilization for former public housing residents in Atlanta. This research informs public policy on the provision of housing subsidy and the provision of food social services.


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