State sign of Mississippi Credit/Shutterstock

The tiny town of Drew, Miss., has been left behind by the modern economy. Most businesses along its lone main street are shuttered, so it’s hard to buy a cup of coffee or groceries. Stray dogs zigzag through ragged yards, surrounding dilapidated homes that sit abandoned or in barely livable condition.

Money comes easy in some neighborhoods, dotted by plantation homes that have been passed down for generations. But it’s difficult to find banks willing to give home loans to the low-income, Black residents who make up the majority of the population — a flaw in a US government-backed lending system meant to help aspiring buyers in communities like these.

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