By Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today News Editor
Government data suggests that there is a much lower percentage of blacks buying homes in Alcorn County than whites.
In 2015, there were 149 home loans approved for whites in Alcorn County compared to just five for blacks, figures from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau show.
That is a huge difference.
Of course, since there are many more whites in Alcorn County than blacks it is obviously expected that there will be more whites applying for home loans and getting approved.
Alcorn County has an estimated population of 37,319, and about 85 percent is white and 12 percent black.
However, even with the population difference, there still seems to be a substantially lower number of blacks applying for home loans.
For example, between blacks and whites in Alcorn County there were a total of 154 home loans approved in 2015, the data showed. But only 3 percent of the approved home loans were for blacks, and 97 percent were for whites.
The government figures I reviewed may not include all home loans made in Alcorn County. For instance, a bank would not be required to report its loan data if it had less than $44 million in assets.
But the data show a stark contrast between the number of blacks and whites applying for home loans.
It’s not that African Americans are being denied home loans on a large scale. Based on the data, it appears they are simply not applying for home loans. For instance, there were only four home loans for African Americans denied compared to 57 denials for whites.
The latest Census estimates showed that 38 percent of blacks in Alcorn County were below poverty compared to 18 percent of whites.
Between both whites and blacks, about 31 percent of the children in Alcorn County were below poverty.
But there is a much higher percentage of African American children in Mississippi living in single-family homes. Estimates show that 71 percent of African American children in the Magnolia State are in a home missing a parent compared to 29 percent of white children.
Families without a father present are much more likely to be in poverty.
Therefore, the various data sources clearly show that blacks are more likely to live in poverty, not own a home and have a missing parent.
I recently talked with a local community leader, and she said it can be “very difficult” for children in single-parent households to excel due to issues such as “financial restraints.”
Trecee Hughey with the Corinth Boys & Girls Club said she tells all the children she comes into contact with that they do not have to become a “negative statistic.” She tells those children “you can be somebody” regardless of whether they come from a two-parent or single-parent household.
“You can’t let the things you don’t have limit you,” Hughey said. “I don’t care what your limitations are. You still have something in you that was placed there by the good Lord that enables you to be a productive citizen in this life.”