Challenges: Seeking A Clear Vision of The Future

 

As with any housing development project, there were challenges. It can be tricky to develop a strategic plan that meets the perceived needs of the current town as well as those of the projected population and demographic changes. Some residents can envision a project or future needs, but others can’t. Benson said, “People came around. This was more than affordable housing. For the town, in general, we need [to provide housing for] these people: teachers, volunteer firefighters, police. And people realized that.” 

One concern with the projects was traffic flow. Another was the impact on property values.  Encouraging open dialogue, the town listened to and addressed the concerns of its residents. The town responded after viewing research to prove that property values would increase as a result of more housing options. According to Paul Scalzo, a real estate agent at Scalzo Group in Bethel, “If you bring people to an area, it increases the value of real estate around it. It absolutely does.” 

The town took the traffic concern very seriously as well. The housing developments in Newtown will be located around its five villages, complementing the existing layout of the area and mitigating the potential traffic. As Llodra stated, “We are trying to be smart. We will be very careful. We respect that this is a cultural shift.”

 

A Deeper Look Inside Newtown

Next steps - Learn more about planned housing development in Newtown: