DATES TO NOTE
August 11 : OHBA Awards of Distinction Finalists are Announced
August 16-26: OHBA’s People’s Choice Award Voting Opens Online
September 1: OHBA Conference Early Bird Pricing Ends
September 18-20: OHBA’s Annual Conference and Awards of Distinction
September 19: OHBA Annual Meeting of Members and OHBA’s President’s Gala
September 20: OHBA’s 2016 Awards of Distinction
OHBA 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE – BLUE MOUNTAIN, COLLINGWOOD The much anticipated OHBA Annual Conference and Awards of Distinction are just around the corner and you don’t want to miss out! This year we will be returning to the beautiful Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, from September 18-20, 2016 for three days of interactive activities, informative sessions and dazzling evening celebrations. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to celebrate successes, share ideas and stories, learn about new programs and products, and network with your industry colleagues from across the province. Space is limited so act fast and get your registration in today – these are three days you don’t want to miss! Register early for reduced rates (ends on September 1, 2016) – http://conference.ohba.ca
Highlights for this year’s conference:
1. Business Sessions: The conference provides valuable opportunities to catch up on the latest news and changes that are affecting our industry. OHBA has arranged for several key sessions that will help you prepare your business for the upcoming year including: health and safety, Tarion, the 2017 Building Code, Issues updates, marketing your business and more.
2. Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association presents Fall Fair! Come dressed in casual attire and join us for a “Fall Fair” featuring the very best of Fall Fairs around Ontario. Better come hungry and ready for fun! We’ll see you in the village – bring your drink tickets, your sense of humour, and…perhaps…your sense of adventure…
3. Awards of Distinction – Celebrating 25 Years: The moment we’ve all been waiting for! On September 20th we welcome back James Cunningham as our Master of Ceremonies. Who will walk away with the coveted AoD awards? This evening will also be an opportunity to look back and reflect on 25 years of building excellence. OHBA is bringing back the coveted People’s Choice Award this year for best project – voting begins on August 16th on the Awards website ohbaaod.ca. Space is limited, so register for the conference today and join us for a fun celebratory dinner to help cheer on the winners!
4. President’s Gala: Join us as we welcome Neil Rodgers as the new President of OHBA! Neil will be the association’s 50th president and this event will be an opportunity to honour and celebrate all our past presidents. Neil is a BIG Green Bay Packers fan and this is one TAILGATE PARTY you won’t want to miss!
5. Additional Activities: While the conference is your best opportunity to prepare yourself for the upcoming year, it is also an opportunity to network and make new connections. OHBA has arranged for some great activities, including: the Builders’ Choice Tradeshow, the Annual Golf Tournament at Monterra, a mountain-top Segway tour, a spa day at Scandinave, keynote speaker Olympic Gold Medalist Jennifer Botterill and more.
AMM RESOLUTIONS OHBA has produced a 2015-2016 Resolutions Update package that is a status report of the resolutions approved at the September 28, 2015 OHBA Annual Meeting of Members. OHBA invites and encourages local associations to submit resolutions to the 2016 OHBA Annual Meeting of Members at 9:00 a.m. on Monday September 19th in Collingwood. Please submit resolutions to OHBA by Friday, August 26th, this will enable us to circulate the material to all local associations for their review in early September, prior to the OHBA AMM. Our 30 local associations have a voice in the policies and priorities of our organization. Please provide us with your input.
CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES REVIEW Last year, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry initiated a review of the Conservation Authorities Act by posting a discussion paper to the Environmental Registry to which OHBA submitted recommendations to the Ministry last fall. In response to the public and stakeholder comments received, the Ministry has identified five priorities for updating the Act: Strengthen oversight and accountability in decision-making; Increase clarity and consistency in roles and responsibilities, processes and requirements; Improve collaboration and engagement among all parties involved in resource management; Modernize funding mechanisms to support conservation authority operations; and, Enhance flexibility for the province to update the Conservation Authorities Act in the future. A consultation document “Conserving Our Future” was posted to the Environmental Registry (012-7583) this spring representing the next stage of the legislative review. The posting will be open for comment until September 9, 2016. OHBA is seeking feedback from members on the consultation document – please direct any comments back to Mike Collins-Williams.
INCLUSIONARY ZONING In May the provincial government tabled legislation, Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016 (Bill 204), that will allow municipalities to force the inclusion of government-required affordable housing units in new residential projects. The province subsequently posted a proposed regulation under the Planning Act that would set the framework for Inclusionary Zoning as well as a consultation discussion guide. OHBA responded to the announcement with a media release, “Inclusionary Zoning Will Only Work through Partnerships.” The legislation follows an announcement in March by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which updated the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy. OHBA responded to the announcement with the media release articulating that “Housing is Never Free – New Neighbours will pay the Bill for Inclusionary Zoning.” In advance of the legislation being introduced, OHBA and BILD created a Statement of Intent on Affordable Housing & Inclusionary Zoning. The Statement of Intent outlines our principles for creating legislation to permit Inclusionary Zoning. The Urban Land Institute also released a new study on July 20th The Economics of Inclusionary Development which found that almost all cities in the United States offer various type of development incentives to offset the economic impacts the inclusionary policy has and that the inclusionary policies depend on market-rate development to be successful. OHBA met directly with the Hon. Chris Ballard, the new Minister of Housing to discuss our concerns with Inclusionary Zoning and our support for a partnership framework where costs and responsibilities for government required affordable housing is shared between the public and private sector. OHBA and BILD also participated in the three stakeholder consultations hosted by the Ministry of Housing in June and July. OHBA is reviewing the legislation and regulatory package against our Statement of Intent in an effort to shape how a partnership model can make Inclusionary Zoning work. OHBA is preparing a submission to the province – we are seeking feedback from members – please send comments to OHBA Director of Policy Mike Collins-Williams.
SHORT-TERM WATER TAKING EASR Over the past few years OHBA and a number of other construction associations were engaged with the MOECC advocating for a modernization of Permits To Take Water (PTTWs) including clarifications on when permits are and are not required as well as advocating for exemptions for certain low-risk activities. The Ministry listened to the concerns raised by the construction industry and identified select water taking activities to be included in the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) framework that came into force on March 29, 2016. To support project proponents in the use of these OHBA supported EASRs, the Minister has developed a guidance document that was posted online on July 29th .
FEEDBACK ON TARION’S PROPOSED REPAIR WARRANTY REGULATION AND POLICY (BUILDER BULLETIN 50) Tarion is consulting on a proposed Repair Warranty. Currently, there is a longstanding, informal policy to warrant repairs made by builders for one year from the date of initial repair. Following initial stakeholder consultation conducted earlier this year, Tarion has drafted a proposed Builder Bulletin that lays out the process for how this policy would fit within their current warranty framework. The proposed regulation changes and proposed Builder Bulletin on Repair Warranty has been posted by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) on the Regulatory Registry. The deadline to submit feedback on the proposed regulation and policy is September 8, 2016. Individual feedback may be submitted to email@example.com. OHBA will be drafting a formal response on the proposed regulation and policy changes on Repair Warranty through the OHBA/Tarion Liaison Committee. Members may also send comments directly to OHBA’s Senior Technical Advisor, Pauline Lip.
CO-ORDINATED REVIEW OF GROWTH PLAN AND GREENBELT In May the provincial government announced proposed amendments to four Plans that were part of the Co-ordinated Review. OHBA, along with BILD and HHHBA, responded to the announcement with a media release noting that the provincial government’s proposed amendments would mean less housing choice and higher prices for home buyers. OHBA and the Brantford Home Builders’ Association are co-hosting an upcoming industry consultation on August 4th with Larry Clay, the Ontario Growth Secretariat which will be followed by a presentation from Malone Given Parsons offering industry observations on the potential impacts of the proposed amendments to the Plans. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend, please RSVP to OHBA’s Director of Policy Mike Collins-Williams if you plan to attend: Thursday, August 4th – 10:30 a.m. – Best Western – 19 Holiday Dr., Brantford, ON.
A few key proposed amendments from the announcement included: Increasing intensification targets to a minimum of 60 per cent of all new residential development occurring annually in the built-up area (currently 40 per cent); Increasing the designated greenfield area density target in the Growth Plan to a minimum of 80 residents and jobs per hectare (currently 50); Establishing stronger environmental, agricultural and planning criteria in the Growth Plan for settlement area boundary expansions; Requiring the province, in collaboration with municipalities, to identify and map an agricultural system for the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH); Identifying a natural heritage system in the GGH outside the Greenbelt Area; and, Four parcels of land identified by the City of Hamilton and Niagara Region would be added to the Greenbelt. The government has proposed changes to the four Plans captured in the Co-ordinated Review and are looking for feedback, the Plans include: Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2016; Proposed Greenbelt Plan (2016); Proposed Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2016); and, the Proposed Niagara Escarpment Plan, 2016. OHBA is seeking input from members as we prepare our submission to government – please share your comments, questions and concerns to OHBA Policy Director Mike Collin-Williams.
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD REVIEW The provincial government is undertaking a review of the scope and effectiveness of the OMB. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of the Attorney General are working to develop proposed recommendations to improve how the OMB works within the broader system of land-use planning. A consultation paper will be released in the fall 2016 for further comment. Prior to the release of the consultation document, the province has requested to hear views from stakeholders on the following topics – Jurisdiction and powers; Meaningful citizen participation and local perspective; Clear/predictable decision making; Hearing procedures and practices; Alternative dispute resolution; and, Timely processes and decision making. In an effort to support the framework of discussion topics for the upcoming consultation, we encourage members to submit your preliminary comments. Please email these comments to OHBA’s Director of Policy Mike Collins-Williams and also direct your comments directly to the province at: OMBReview@ontario.ca.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR HOUSING (SB-12), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2017 The Ministry of Municipal Affairs has published the revised Supplementary Standard SB-12 (Energy Efficiency Requirements for Housing) which will become effective on January 1, 2017. Supplementary Standard SB-12 to the 2012 Building Code – Energy Efficiency for Housing – has been amended to include: new prescriptive compliance packages that provide minimum 15 per cent energy efficiency improvement over existing packages; drain water heat recovery units as a mandatory requirement for all prescriptive compliance packages; heat or energy recovery ventilators as a mandatory requirement in all packages in order to protect indoor air quality as homes get increasingly “air tight”; thermal U and effective RSI values along with nominal RSI values to provide added flexibility in the choice of different assembly structures e.g. basement wall and roofs; credits for reducing air leakage to encourage better energy conservation; table to clarify requirements for developing a reference building; revised air-leakage rates for the reference building to encourage testing and improved air tightness; clarification to provide credits for renewables, dedicated ventilation systems and broader types of HVAC equipment; and, other editorial changes, clarifications and new appendix notes. The term “heat recovery ventilators” has been broadened to include energy recovery ventilators wherever it has been used in the document. Chapter 3 changes will apply to construction for which a permit has been applied for after December 31, 2016. There have only been minor editorial changes included in this update for Chapter 2 which will continue to apply to construction for which a permit has been applied for before January 1, 2017.
HOME FIRE SPRINKLER SUMMIT On June 23, 2016, OHBA and BILD attended the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in Toronto. Information about residential fire sprinkler systems for low-rise homes, the associated costs implementation challenges of fire sprinkler systems was shared with the industry. Organizers expressed that the summit’s intent was not about changing legislation, but rather focused on public awareness and education. OHBA noted that any items or technologies that are installed in the home must make sense not just from a builder’s perspective, but also in terms of the consumers’ ability to utilize it and operate it. OHBA continues to support the development and adoption process of the Ontario Building Code as the most effective way of ensuring an adequate standard of health and safety in buildings. The code development process sets out proven requirements to protect health and safety in buildings – incorporated only after full consideration of their impact on the industry and on consumers. OHBA will continue to monitor and inform members if fire sprinkler systems for low-rise arise as a potential change in the Ontario Building Code.
PROHIBITION OF GAS FURNACES FOR CONSTRUCTION HEAT, EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 2017 OHBA expressed the concerns of our members about a recent decision made by HRAI’s furnace manufacturer members to prohibit the use of gas furnaces for construction heat in a letter dated May 26, 2016. In response, HRAI conducted an internal meeting with furnace manufacturers on June 8th to discuss options to mitigate the impact of their decision on the new home construction process. On June 24th, HRAI issued its response to OHBA with that decision that manufacturers agreed to extend the deadline for compliance to May 1, 2017. The proposed standard wording that will be included in their manufacturers’ instructions, is as follows: “Gas furnaces manufactured on or after May 1, 2017 are not permitted to be used in Canada for heating of buildings or structures under construction” OHBA recognizes that clarification is needed on the details of the prohibition, and will keep all members informed of further discussion with HRAI.