Chicken plant opening shines spotlight on Chatham County’s affordable housing crisis

The eviction of more than two dozen families from a mobile home park near the new chicken plant  — and those families’ struggle to stay in Chatham County — points to a persistent housing issue. SILER CITY – Chatham County’s housing shortage is expected to be exacerbated by the influx of workers that have already started to arrive at the city’s new chicken plant, testing the county’s housing supply and the ability of officials to plan future development as more arrive. One of the first moves of chicken plant owner and operator Mountaire Farms in November 2017 was to evict 28 mostly Latino families, more than 100 people, from the nearby Johnson Mobile Home Park. Close to Mountaire’s new Siler City plant off U.S. 64, Mountaire bought the mobile home park as part of the plant’s expansion plans. As those families looked to find another place to live, the county’s affordable housing crisis came sharply into focus.