Ontario’s HCRA marks first anniversary as regulator
One year after launching, Ontario’s Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) cites implementation of a Code of Ethics for new home builders and vendors.
The HCRA launched on February 1, 2021, as Ontario’s newest regulator, responsible for licensing the people and companies who build and sell new homes in the province. To receive and/or maintain a licence, builders and vendors must demonstrate that they have the right technical skills to build homes, the financial capacity to run a homebuilding operation and the knowledge and ability to offer warranty protection on a new home.
“Builders and vendors now have clear standards for their conduct, which the HCRA is actively enforcing,” says Wendy Moir, the HCRA’s Chief Executive Officer and Registrar. “There is no excuse for improper behaviour. New home buyers should have full confidence that their builder meets high standards for competence and conduct.”
During its first year, the HCRA processed 7,358 licence applications and renewals.
Other highlights from the HCRA’s first year of operation include:
- Laying charges for the first time, including for selling homes without a licence. These charges are now making their way through the judicial system.
- Looking into more than 600 complaints through a new process.
- Enhancing the Ontario Builder Director (OBD), the official source of background information about each of Ontario’s more than 6,000 builders and vendors. The OBD now makes it easier to search for information by including a builder or vendor’s marketing name as well as the corporate legal name. Other significant additions to the OBD include reporting on charges and licensing conditions imposed on a builder or vendor.
- Providing educational resources to new home purchasers to help guide them on their home buying journey, including expectations of builders and their conduct.
- Establishing the HCRA’s first three-year Strategic Plan, for the period 2022-2025. The Strategic Plan sets out a clear and structured path to support the HCRA to achieve its mandate.
- Establishing Discipline and Appeals committees, to ensure licensee compliance with conduct obligations.
- Appointing and onboarding Board Members, bringing the Board of Directors to full strength.
- Appointing Wendy Moir as the HCRA’s first permanent CEO and Registrar.
“After one year, we are confident we have the right balance: a fair licensing process for builders and vendors who perform well, and rigid enforcement against those who don’t,” Moir says. “Now we will build on this success and work with consumers, industry and government to ensure that Ontario continues to have a thriving, well-managed new home sector.”