In the 1950’s and 1960’s, a Michigan town used urban renewal projects to destroy black neighborhoods. Today, they are compensating some surviving victims by building them affordable housing. Though it is obviously coming too late, this may seem the most fitting and just response. Unfortunately, it isn’t the best way to help people.
Michigan doesn’t need to build new low-income housing, they don’t have enough people for the housing they’ve got which results in it falling into disrepair. A major reason the economy is so messed up is that we, as a society, invested too much of our scarce resources in housing. This just exacerbates it.
What they should have done, is taken the money they used to build housing and just give it to the people they were trying to help. They’ll spend it more wisely than we would on their behalf. For insight into how, and why, government has historically liked to control aid to the poor, I recommend Viviana Zelizer. The work I’m most familiar with is The Social Meaning of Money but it could be that some of her other work is even more relevant.