After Abrupt Eviction Notice, Tenants Get More Time To Move

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Residents in an apartment complex in north Mississippi who said they were abruptly given hours to evict their homes last month now have a little bit more time to find a new place to live.

Ferretti Property Services has reached an out-of-court settlement with 21 tenants of the Catherine Street apartment complex in Starkville, WCBI-TV reports.

On Aug. 27, the Cleveland, Mississippi-based company informed tenants of the 61-unit apartment complex — many of whom are low-income and disabled — they were required to leave.

Represented by Starkville attorney Austin Vollor, the tenants filed a preliminary injunction and restraining order against Ferretti Aug. 31, prohibiting the company from removing residents from the property.

According to an agreement finalized Wednesday, tenants are now being given more time to vacate. They are being split into three groups — eight must leave by Sept. 17, 10 by Sept. 29 and the remaining three — who have health issues — must leave by Oct. 14.

Vollor told the television station the two sides wanted to get “what they felt was a fair resolution for both sides.”

“It gives our group more time to get out,” he said.

But Resident Vashante Gray said the extra time may not be enough. The mother told The Commercial Dispatch she has spent all of her money on hotel stays since receiving her original eviction notice. She said she doesn't know where she'll find a new place to live in just a few days.

“Now, I’m broke,” Gray told the newspaper. “I have to worry about where me and my kids are going, how I’m going to feed my kids with no money. It doesn’t make logical sense.”

The ruling will help tenants qualify for emergency housing. Meanwhile, The Oktibbeha County branch of the NAACP and charity organization Starkville Strong are working to support families while they make the transition.