Mississippi State Capitol (copy)

Mississippi State Capitol

A DeSoto County city is among the state’s highest for evictions and the numbers across the state may grow with the Mississippi House passage of a bill that addresses the eviction of tenants. The bill is now headed to Gov. Phil Bryant for signing. 

Latest statistics from The Eviction Lab, a database from a Princeton University-based research group, show Horn Lake as the Mississippi mid-sized city with the highest percentage per capita for evictions at 11.9 percent. That puts the city seventh in the nation among those considered as mid-sized cities.

Southaven made the mid-sized city list at number 40 (7.86 percent) and Olive Branch ranked 63rd nationally at 6.76 percent for evictions per-capita among communities of similar size, according to The Eviction Lab rankings. The data listed is for 2016, the latest year figures are available.

In Horn Lake in 2016, there were 416 evictions, according to the report, which is 1.14 households per day. For Southaven in that year, there were 470 evictions reported, or 1.29 households per day. Olive Branch saw 189 in 2016, or .52 households each day during that particular year.

Among large cities, Jackson ranked fifth in the country with an 8.75 percent eviction rate.

This week, the Mississippi House passed a bill and sent to the governor a bill that would eliminate the 10-day grace period tenants have before being required to vacate their rental property once the eviction process is completed.

It amends and clarifies language in the Landlord-Tenant Act.

DeSoto County’s three state senators, Kevin Blackwell (R-Southaven), David Parker (R-Olive Branch) and Chris Massey (R-Nesbit), all voted in favor of the bill authored by Sen. Angela Burks Hill (R-Picayune). Parker was listed as an additional author of the Senate bill.

On the House side, all six representatives of districts that feature or include DeSoto County also supported the measure.

Burks Hill was quoted by Mississippi Today as saying she introduced the measure to clarify confusion from the bill she had passed last session and signed into law to attempt to speed up the process.

The confusion developed led to some officials and judges interpreting it and enforcing it differently.

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.