Connecticut’s struggles with stark economic disparities between many of its 169 communities are no secret, and some leaders at the local level are working to find ways to make their communities more equitable.

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Carl Fortuna is the first selectman of Old Saybrook, and he believes the number one priority for towns to break these barriers is to implement deed-restricted housing.

Deed-restricted housing is a form of affordable housing. It’s when the deed gets recorded on the land records for multi-family housing. There must be a certain number of units in the dwelling that are deed-restricted, and its rental cost cannot exceed a defined amount, which is based on several factors.

Fortuna says having deed-restricted units not only helps those who normally couldn’t afford to live in an affluent town like Old Saybrook, but it also is a major benefit to the town.

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Adam Chiara

Adam Chiara is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Hartford and a multimedia storyteller.