COVID-19 Industry Update July 14, 2020

OHBA Updates

Bill 197 – COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act

As part of the COVID-19 post pandemic recovery, the provincial government introduced Bill 197 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act on July 8th. The omnibus Bill makes amendments to a number of pieces of existing legislation as part of Ontario’s Plan for Economic Jobs and Recovery.

Through June and early July, the OHBA hosted six “zoom” meetings with Cabinet Ministers on Ontario’s Economic Jobs and Recovery Committee and the OHBA Submission to Ontario’s Jobs and Recovery Committee included 7 key recommendations and 9 sub-recommendations. The legislation through Bill 197 adopts components of OHBA’s recommendations as well as directly addressing a number of OHBA recommendations to the Made in Ontario Environment Plan, Housing Supply Action Plan and submissions with respect to the Community Benefits Charges framework and Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessments. Overall, the proposed legislation is a positive step towards building more housing supply and creating jobs as part of the post pandemic recovery.

Read the Government Press Release and the Government Backgrounder for more information.

Click here to read a summary of highlights prepared by the OHBA. Highlights include the following topics:

  • Planning Act and Development Charges Act Amendments (related to Community Benefits Charges (CBC) authority)
  • Community Benefits Charges (CBC) Regulation
  • Expanded Ministerial Zoning Order Authority
  • Modernizing Municipal Class Environmental Assessments
  • Modernizing other classes of Environmental Assessments
  • Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECAs) for Waste Water and Storm Water Management
  • Other Items

Bill 197 is an important step toward post pandemic recovery and reflects broader provincial objectives in More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan and the Made in Ontario Environment Plan as well as provincial initiatives to support Transit Oriented Communities.

OHBA will be continuing dialogue and consultation with the provincial government. OHBA is also seeking feedback from members as they prepare a response with industry recommendations when the proposed legislation is referred to public hearings at Standing Committee and to respond to Environmental Registry postings. Please contact Kirstin Jensen, Manager of Planning & Government Relations at kirstin@westendhba.ca with any comments or feedback.

 

MECP Environmental Registry Postings related to Bill 197

As an update and follow-up to the notice above regarding Bill 197 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has since posted a number of online resources and Environmental Registry postings that members should be aware of.

As part of the MECP proposed components of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, MECP is proposing to move forward with the next phase of environmental assessment modernization, to further reduce delays and focus resources on projects with a higher potential for environmental impacts so that the provincial government can help communities get important infrastructure projects built faster, while maintaining strong environmental oversight.

The following items are undergoing consultation. Please click here to view a summary document with further details on each item.

  • Proposed amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA)
  • Amendments to Class Environmental Assessments (Class EAs)
  • Exempting Regulations
  • Proposed changes to environmental approvals for municipal sewage collection works
  • Proposals for select Ministry of Transportation projects

OHBA will be responding to the various MECP Environmental Registry postings and are seeking input from members. Please contact Kirstin Jensen, Manager of Planning & Government Relations at kirstin@westendhba.ca to provide any comments or feedback.

 

Ontario Jobs Recovery Committee

Premier Doug Ford has appointed an Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee to support the province’s recovery efforts by consulting Ontarians and developing a plan to stimulate economic growth and job creation while maintaining health and safety. 

The OHBA Submission to Ontario’s Jobs and Recovery Committee includes 7 key recommendations and 9 sub-recommendations. OHBA is continuing to schedule meetings with Cabinet Ministers who are members of Ontario’s Jobs and Recovery Committee to advocate for the adoption and implementation of these recommendations.

OHBA RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Modernizing HST Threshold for New Housing
  2. Home Renovation Tax Credit
  3. Modern Surety Bonds as Financial Security for Municipalities
  4. Infrastructure Stimulus
  5. Temporarily Freeze Development Charges at Current Rates
  6. Resources for the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal
  7. Streamlining Approvals and Cutting Red Tape:
  • Interim Control By-Laws (ICBLs)
  • Planning Act – Section 50 – Subdivision Control
  • Streamline Site Plan Control
  • Streamline Archeological Assessments
  • Pre-Zone for Transit-Oriented Communities
  • Density Transition Zones
  • Tall Wood/Mass Timber
  • Fast Track the Made in Ontario Environment Plan
  • Adopt Utilities Model for Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
  • Minimum Parking Requirements

 

OHBA Awards of Distinction

There’s only 10 days left to get your submissions in!

The 2020 OHBA Awards of Distinction (AoD) will be here before you know it. Start planning and putting together your submissions now and don’t miss the chance to enter! The OHBA looks forward to seeing all the amazing submissions from their members.

What’s new for 2020? This year there is a new category – Amenities – which recognizes the best single amenity within a multi-unit residential building by an OHBA builder member. As well, this year OHBA is allowing for partner submissions in specific categories. For partner submissions, architectural designers, interior specialists, and marketing agencies will be eligible to submit in partnership with a builder/developer/renovator, in specified categories.

For more information, please visit www.ohbaaod.ca. OHBA looks forward to another successful Awards of Distinction and appreciates all the time and effort members put into making this event possible.

 

Tarion Updates

Reinstatement of Builder Repair Period/Tarion Plan in Response to Audit General/ Annual Public Meeting July 14/Legislative Update on Tarion 

Tarion, in consultation with the Ontario Government, have made a series of announcements last week:

  1. Reinstatement of Builder Repair Period on August 27 – as per the Tarion July 7th email to Registered Builders

At this time, the Emergency Order that suspends timelines associated with repair periods, warranty form submissions and conciliations is in place until September 11, 2020. Understanding the impact that these ongoing delays are having on you and your homeowners, Tarion has determined that, with the appropriate health and safety protocols in place, they will reinstate timelines on August 27, 2020.

This provides all builders with 45 days beginning July 13, 2020 to re-mobilize trades, supplies and staff and organize scheduling before repair periods are reinstated on August 27, 2020. This re-mobilization period applies to repairs on freehold homes, condo units and common elements claims. In addition, it applies to repair agreements currently in place between builders and homeowners or condo corporations.

Tarion will resume in-person inspections on July 13, 2020. Homeowners and condominium corporations with warranty claim submissions or requests for conciliation due between March 16 and September 11, 2020 will have until September 11, 2020 to submit warranty forms or requests for conciliation.

Attached here is an OHBA Guidance document regarding Tarion Builder Warranty Services and Operating in Occupied Spaces.

Tarion provides additional guidance on their website.

 

  1. In response to the Auditor General Report – Plan to Implement the Recommendations – July 10th Tarion email:

Seeking your feedback on implementing recommendations from the Auditor General of Ontario’s Report:

Tarion wants to hear from you on how best to implement recommendations from the Ontario Auditor General’s report. Your feedback will help to inform Tarion’s path forward.

On October 30, 2019, the Auditor General of Ontario released the Special Audit of Tarion Warranty Corporation. Tarion is committed to building a more transparent, fair and accountable new home warranty and protection program and has made it a priority to implement the recommendations from the Auditor General’s report in a timely manner. To view Tarion’s plan to implement the recommendations, please see here.

At this time, Tarion is seeking input from stakeholders and the public on the following recommendations:

  • Establishing new rules and processes to help homeowners better understand the importance of the Pre-Delivery Inspection;
  • Clarifying information on new home warranties and homeowners’ rights in the Homeowner Information Package;
  • Changing the Customer Service Standard to improve homeowners’ ability to seek assistance from Tarion;
  • Establishing new rules for the timely Tarion resolution of homeowners’ disputes with builders;Establishing a timely and cost-effective Tarion mediation process for homeowners;
  • Requiring builders to provide Tarion with title information for high-risk proposed condominium construction projects and to disclose restrictions that could cause delay or cancellation of the project;
  • Implementing a risk-based inspection process to proactively identify potential deficiencies during construction, including those related to the Ontario Building Code during construction; and
  • Improving the Ontario Builder Directory to include additional information about builders.

Tarion is also seeking input on the warranty compensation caps on claims related to environmentally harmful substances or hazards, septic systems and condominium common elements and providing compensation to homeowners in instances where they have to relocate while repairs are underway which arose from a warranted item.

For information on the proposed improvements, please view the Q&A available here. Please provide comments by August 24, 2020 through the Ontario Regulatory Registry or at submissions@tarion.com.

OHBA will be reviewing this document and organizing members feedback.

 

  1. Tarion’s 2020 Annual Public Meeting – Tuesday July 14 @ 7 PM

Due to the current COVID-19 landscape, Tarion will host its 2020 Annual Public Meeting online. Holding this meeting as a virtual event will ensure that everyone who wants to can participate while still strictly adhering to current public health recommendations.

Please pre-register by clicking on this link. You will receive a confirmation email once you have registered that will have a link to access the meeting and a unique password. OHBA Staff will be attending this session.

 

  1. Ontario Government Legislation

Confirming the split between Regulator (HCRA) and the Warranty Administrator (Tarion). The 3rd and final reading is expect to be completed this week and passage of the legislation will follow. There is still substantial regulatory work to follow – OHBA will be engaging and organizing members input into these regulatory items over the summer. 

 

WE HBA Update

Quarterly Budget Update

Join the WE HBA for presentation and discussion of the Quarterly Budget with:

  • Robert Molinaro, WE HBA President
  • Terri Johns, WE HBA Treasurer
  • Bianca Bruzzese, WE HBA 1st Vice-President
  • Suzanne Mammel, WE HBA CEO

MONDAY JULY 27 | 10 AM

Register now by clicking here. For inquiries or to submit questions, please contact Cindy McIntosh at cindy@westendhba.ca or at (905) 575-3344 ext. 3.

 

Webinar Updates

 

Coffee for the WIN

Coffee with Terri Johns, President at T.Johns Consulting Inc.

Our built environments are designed with intention. Going from raw land to serviced sites takes strategy, research and team coordination. Land development is a multifaceted process that involves many professionals and experts who have a passion for what they do. Join our kick off “Coffee for the WIN” where Terri Johns will share her experience as a Planner in land development.

WEDNESDAY July 15 | 9 AM

Register here!

 

Tarion Webinar

COVID-19 & Resumption of Timelines and Services

Beginning on July 13, builders will have 45 days to re-mobilize trades, supplies and staff and organize scheduling before repair periods are reinstated on August 27, 2020. This re-mobilization period applies to repairs on freehold homes, condo units, common elements claims repair agreements currently in place between builders and homeowners or condo corporations.

Tarion will resume in-person inspections on July 13, 2020. Homeowners and condominium corporations with warranty claim submissions or requests for conciliation due between March 16 and September 11, 2020 will have until September 11, 2020 to submit warranty forms or requests for conciliation. 

In order to answer your questions about the reinstatement of timelines and in-person inspections, check out Tarion’s interactive webinar.

WEDNESDAY July 15 | 11 AM – 12 PM

Click here to register!

 

OHBA/BILD Member Information Session

Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and Planning Act Related Matters

Join OHBA and BILD on July 16th for an OHBA-BILD Member Information Session to receive an update on the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and some Planning Act related matters:

  1. Operations of LPAT since the COVID-19 Provincial Emergency Order was put in place in March, and then slowly lifted
  2. The new Ontario Land Tribunals: function, processes, jurisdiction, intent and relation to the LPAT environment as our members know it
  3. New Ontario Regulation 278/20 which resumes Planning Act statutory timelines as of June 22nd

Speakers include: Stan Floras and Gun Koleoglu, LPAT Tribunal Counsel; Jason Park, Devine Park LLP; Chris Barnett, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

THURSDAY JULY 16 | 2:30 PM – 4 PM

Register now!