Home building industry associations support enhanced consumer protections

The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) have announced their support for the Ontario government’s call for enhanced consumer protections for new home buyers for cancelled projects and against escalating costs. The associations also signalled that they would be bringing forward new requirements within their codes of ethics at the next meetings of their Boards of Directors to outline expectations for how builders and developers treat consumers in these unique situations.

“A new home is the single largest purchase a person will make in their lifetime,” said Dave Wilkes, President and CEO of BILD. “While the industry is wrestling with unprecedented year-over-year construction cost increases, in excess of 20%, there can be no excuse for treating consumers with anything less than fairness, honesty and respect. This is consistent with our existing code of ethics.”

According to a release from the associations, OHBA & BILD support the government’s efforts to enhance consumer protections for the purchasers of new and pre-construction homes, including the payment of interest on deposits for cancelled projects, enhanced transparency within contracts and clear language on how unforeseen cost increases are to be handled. OHBA & BILD have been actively working with the Home Construction Regulatory Authority of Ontario (HCRA) to outline these new guidelines and call on the HCRA to bring forward this advisory as soon as possible.

“While rare, project cancellations and cost increases especially in this inflationary environment and when municipalities increase their fees and charges can and do happen,” said Luca Bucci, CEO of the OHBA. “The vast majority of developers in Ontario play by the rules and meet or exceed the standards set out by the Home Construction Regulatory Authority. As an industry, we have a responsibility to the homebuyer to work with the HCRA to ensure they have the resources and scope to appropriately investigate and discipline perceived breaches of their Code of Ethics, and issue actions accordingly.”

The association’s report that OHBA & BILD’s next board meetings are in mid-September and the associations will be publishing their updated codes of ethics on their websites shortly thereafter. The codes of ethics will be subject to member ratification at OHBA and BILD’s annual general meetings.

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