During the past few years, Siler City has noticed an increase in population, drug abuse, crime and decrease in available and affordable housing. When looking at Siler City compared to its neighbor, Durham, there are many similarities to what has happened in the Bull City to what is going on in Siler City. Durham, becoming the destination for Covid-work-from-home transplants, has experienced vast changes that have displaced its residents. With the amount of transplants moving to Durham, the population has climbed and so has its crime rate. Siler City, the town to the West of Durham, has seen steady growth in population , but is significantly smaller. So, why does a town of 7,702 have the same crime rate of Durham that has a population of 283,506?
According to neighborhoodscout.com, using the 2020 Census date, Siler City has a violent crime rate of 7.4 in 1,000 residents, compared to 8.66 for Durham. North Carolina, as a whole, has a violent crime rate of 4.26 per 1,000 residents. In Durham, you have a 1 in 26 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime, which is similar to Siler City’s 1 in 24 odds. For comparison, North Carolina’s statistic on this is 1 in 44. In addition to the threat of gentrification, both Siler City and Durham have another thing in common, they have the same crime index given by neighborhoodscout.com: 4. This means that they are only safer than 4% of cities in the United States. In other words, 96% of cities in the United States are safer to be in than Durham or Siler City.
So, why? What is the cause of such a high crime rate? Could it be because of idle hands and minds? Are there enough resources for the citizens for Siler City? Look around, drug-use is everywhere. Where is the support for the citizens that need a little extra help? More people move to Siler City each month. If something is not done soon, people will be priced out of their neighborhoods. As housing prices increase around North Carolina, Siler City has not escaped the crisis.
The lack of available rentals is shocking. Each apartment complex has a waitlist, and if a rental hits the market, there are 10 applicants by lunch time. Spreading into the real estate market, houses on the market are asking Durham prices. Residents in Siler City are being priced out of their town. Where will they go? They are becoming the new Durham. Gentrification is starting, and what is being done to protect its citizens? From looking around, nothing.