1940-1960: Homeownership soars after World War II

Prior to World War II, there were significant declines in homeownership—especially farm home ownership—which was due in major part to the economic woes the nation had been facing. However, those trends were all but reversed following the war.

The passage of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, known colloquially as the G.I. Bill, offered a range of benefits to veterans including low-interest mortgages—but largely left out Black service members returning from war. Coupled with the thriving national economy following World War II, the national rates of homeownership increased from 44% to 62% between 1940 and 1960. Even the states that had extremely low homeownership rates prior to World War II—Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi, among others—experienced a tremendous boom in homeownership.

To coincide with Veterans Day in November 2021, representatives James Clyburn of South Carolina and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts introduced the GI Bill Restoration Act which would grant descendants and surviving spouses of Black World War II veterans extended access to the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program and Post-911 GI Bill's education benefits.

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