Urban renewal projects changed the landscape of American cities in the 1950s and ‘60s. The federal government gave cities billions of dollars to tear down blighted areas and replace them with affordable housing. In many places, there was a net loss of housing as city leaders decided instead to build offices or shopping malls, or to expand hospitals and universities. Urban renewal projects displaced more than 300,000 people between 1955 and 1966, and the burden fell disproportionately on people of color. Nixon had frozen federal subsidized housing programs, and the national gentrification program was destroying affordable urban housing around the country, including in the skid row districts.