COVID-19 Information for Mississippi
The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.
State and Local Affiliates
Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.
State Legal and Regulatory Information
We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.
Mississippi is currently operating under its Safe Recovery order, which, amongst other provisions, limits gatherings in private residences to no more than 20 people.
Face Mask Mandate
Mississippi does not mandate the wearing of face coverings statewide, instead encouraging individuals to follow face covering guidance from the state’s Department of Health.
State of Emergency
Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency on March 14.
Status: Evictions Cases Can Resume (Remote)
Executive Action (Expired)
- Action: Implemented an eviction moratorium statewide attached to the State’s Shelter in Place Order through June 1, 2020
- Scope: Execution of Writs of Possession.
- COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
- Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.
Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance
Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) has announced RAMP—a program to provide rental assistance to eligible Mississippians in need. MHC will be partnering with MUTEH, Inc., Central MS Continuum of Care, and the Open Doors Homeless Coalition to administer the nearly $8 million program for the State of Mississippi to carry out Emergency Solutions Grant activities authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
RAMP will offer homeless prevention services such as short-term rental assistance, rental arrears, and housing stability case management to eligible individuals and families.
The Emergency Solutions Grant COVID-19 (ESG-COVID) program created by the CARES Act funds services to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Individuals and families who have been laid off or have current income under 50% of area median income (AMI) and individuals who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance are eligible to receive funds.
To learn more about the program and eligibility please visit the Mississippi Home Corporation's website.
On October 1, 2020, the Mississippi legislature passed HB 1810 to divert $20 million in CARES Act funds, which had been earmarked for small businesses, to residential and commercial housing providers who have lost rent revenue after various eviction moratoriums.
Mississippi Development Authority will administer the grants, up to $30,000, and no more than 25% may go to commercial properties.
Separately, Gov. Tate Reeves' office plans to allocate the entirety of the state’s $38 million Community Development Block Grant from the CARES Act to rental assistance. The recurring federal Community Development Block Grant gives states flexibility to use the funds to expand economic opportunity for low-income communities through infrastructure development, rehabilitation projects and business revitalization.
The money will flow through the Mississippi Development Authority to the Mississippi Home Corporation, which already oversees the existing Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program (RAMP).
No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by Mississippi Code: § 21-17-5.
Under Mississippi Code, § 75.24.25, it is unlawful to charge prices for goods and services, during a declaration of emergency, in excess of their ordinarily charged prices immediately prior to a declaration of emergency. Applicable goods and services are not defined under the language of this statute.