The Great Migration saw millions of African Americans move from rural areas to cities between the 1940s and 1970s. The existence of segregated housing meant that African Americans were forced into the most impoverished residences. In the 50s and 60s, the government implemented urban renewal projects in which inadequate housing was destroyed. Subsequently, private land developers were supposed to purchase heavily subsidized land and build affordable housing for those displaced by the demolitions. Instead, land developers built housing and shopping areas for middle class clientele. Ultimately, more affordable housing was destroyed than was built, further contributing to the urban housing crisis. After the push to provide more housing for African Americans living in cities, the FHA and private companies saw an opportunity to increase profits. They knew that maintaining segregation would ultimately benefit the housing industry and in turn, the economy at large. They also realized expanding housing opportunities for African Americans would do the same. Overall, the FHA and private companies enacted practices that kept entry into White suburbs difficult for African Americans, which increased the ability to financially exploit African Americans looking for better housing.
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