COVID-19 Industry Update June 17, 2020

WE HBA Wins Canadian Local HBA of the Year! 

The West End Home Builders’ Association received the HBA of the Year Award at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Leadership Awards which took place virtually last Friday, June 12th. WE HBA now holds the Provincial and National top honours for local Home Builders’ Associations.

The award recognizes overall excellence by an HBA for the 2019 year, in delivering a strong and positive voice for the home building industry, and in supporting the business successes of members and their ability to provide affordability, quality and choice in housing for consumers. 

Read the press release here!

 

Provincial Updates

Planning Act Timelines – “Starting the Clock” – June 22

The provincial government has passed and posted Ontario Regulation 278/20 made under the Planning Act that amends Ontario Regulation 149/20.

This Regulation comes into force on June 22, 2020 for Planning Act timelines to resume. Click here to access the Regulation.

OHBA wrote Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark on June 8th to express their appreciation for the government’s responsiveness to industry concerns, including maintaining new housing construction as an essential service, slowly opening up other types of construction based on health and safety, and for the amendments to the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act under Bill 189, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020

On behalf of their 4,000 member companies and all of the local home builders associations, OHBA stated that as the Province continues to address the health and safety of Ontarians and begins to chart the economic path forward, it is important for new housing supply and for the broader construction industry that the land use planning approvals process under the Planning Act begin to return to more normal operations that respects physical distancing.

OHBA’s discussions with the Ministry have shifted in recent weeks towards the economic recovery stage and OHBA specifically requested that the Ministry “start the clock” and resume suspended Planning Act timelines.

The Ministry has since taken steps to resume suspended timelines and has written to all heads of council that all of the suspended Planning Act timelines will resume on Monday June 22nd.

 

Growth Plan – Proposed Amendment 1 & Land Needs Assessment

Yesterday, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing posted a series of proposals to the Environmental Registry (019-1679 and 019-1680), related to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. These respond to key advocacy positions of OHBA and the 11 local home builders’ associations impacted by the Growth Plan (BILD, Niagara, West End, Brantford, Haldimand-Norfolk, Waterloo Region, Guelph & District, Greater Dufferin, Simcoe County, Peterborough & the Kawartha and Durham Region).

The proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan and the Land Needs Assessment have each been posted for a 45-day public consultation to July 31, 2020. OHBA is looking for feedback from members as they will be preparing a submission to respond to the amendments as well as working towards a webinar in the near future for members regarding the proposed amendments.

During the fall of 2019 and winter of 2020, OHBA and many of its local HBA’s were involved with the Ministry in establishing stakeholder working groups regarding the Schedule 3 population and employment forecasts as well as the Land Needs Assessment. The OHBA submitted recommendations in October in regards to improving the LNA methodology.

The Growth Plan proposals also respond directly to OHBA Resolution #7 passed at the OHBA Annual Meeting of Members on September 23, 2019 that specifically recommended that the Growth Plan Schedule #3 be updated with 2051 forecasts and that the Ministry update the Land Needs Assessment methodology.

 

MECP Delays Commencement of Excess Soils Regulations

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) has announced it will temporarily delay the implementation of the first phase of requirements under the new Excess Soil Regulation by six months, from July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. This delay will give developers and municipalities more time to gradually implement the new regulation while prioritizing their COVID-19 response.

In December, the MECP released a final excess soils regulation under the Environmental Protection Act as well as an amendment to the Record of Site Condition (brownfields) Regulation 153/04, in a package of regulatory amendments generally supported by OHBA. The intent was to make it safer and easier for more excess soil to be reused locally by clarifying rules for managing and transporting excess soil. Full details on the announcement can be found by clicking here.

To prepare OHBA members for components of the package that were a part of a staged transition over the next couple of years, OHBA hosted an Excess Soils Webinar with our Excess Soils Engagement Committee representative Jeff Goldman and a panel of speakers from the MECP, from McIntosh & Perry and from SoilFlo on May 22nd. The webinar is available online and a copy of the presentation can be requested from WE HBA.

The MECP has since made an announcement that it recognizes the impact COVID-19 has had on the regulated community and that it recognizes that in some cases, temporary relief from certain regulations may be needed to maintain operations and to support quick response to emergencies.

The MECP has also amended O. Reg. 153/04 to exempt temporary health or residential facilities, such as temporary hospitals or shelters, from needing a Record of Site Condition (RSC) before being established in response to an emergency. This amendment would remain in place and apply to any future emergencies. These amendments respond directly to concerns raised by municipalities and industry regarding their ability to effectively maintain operations and establish facilities in response to an emergency.

For more information on these changes, please see the linked information notice

 

OHBA Update

Regional OHBA Conference Call

OHBA has shifted to bi-weekly conference calls to provide a general COVID-19 update as well as other relevant government relations updates.

All of the regions together will be scheduled for one big “zoom” meeting this coming Monday June 22 @ 9:00. The short half hour meeting will be open to any interested members from the local HBA’s. WE HBA encourages our members to join in and stay up to date! Please contact Manager of Planning & Government Relations Kirstin Jensen for the registration details. 

 

JOIN US TONIGHT!

WE HBA Trivia Night

June 17 | 7:00 PM

Registration is free!

Get a drink & grab a snack. Wear your best costume & be eligible for a prize!

Classic Trivia | Entertainment, Sports, History, Science & Geography

Participation is limited | Video use is encouraged!

Click here to register!