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INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY TO PREVENTING ILLEGAL BUILDING

INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY TO PREVENTING ILLEGAL BUILDING

Published: 2018-04-24, TARION 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2018
tarion partnership


INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY TO PREVENTING ILLEGAL BUILDING

OTTAWA, ON – The new home industry in Ontario is made up of a number of working parts – not just on the job site, but also behind the scenes managing the system of standards, permits and inspections to ensure a home is properly built, safe to live in and covered by a warranty. Today, Frank Bidin, City of Ottawa’s Chief Building Official, along with representatives from Tarion and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) met with media to discuss how they are working together to enhance consumer confidence in the home building industry and protect consumers from illegal building.

“We are pleased to be in Ottawa to witness first-hand the success stories of local builders and see the vibrant communities they’re building for home believers,” said Joe Vaccaro, CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. “Each of the organizations represented here today share a commitment to consumer protection and ensuring that Ontario’s home building industry is regarded as a world class leader.”

Siloni Waraich; OHBA President; Pierre Dufresne and CEO Joe Vaccaro; and Frank Bidin visited a Tartan Homes community where they talked about the Ontario Building Partnership between Tarion, OHBA and the Ontario Building Officials’ Association (OBOA) including how the partners are:

• collaborating on local consumer education and homeownership issues;
• working on establishing more consistent standards across the province;
• expanding efforts to advocate for a province-wide model to protect home buyers from illegal building.

Although the partners have traditionally worked together, this agreement solidifies a framework to uphold excellence and elevate the new home building industry. “We’ve been partners for years on a number of important issues, like preventing illegal building. Now, the Ontario Building Partnership will prioritize even more issues that are important to Ontario’s builders, municipalities, and home believers, as they strive to achieve the great Canadian dream of home ownership,” said Pierre Dufresne.

“Illegal builders put homeowners at risk,” said Waraich. “They are more likely to build homes with serious defects and buyers typically aren’t made aware of the warranty protection they are entitled to. We know it’s happening across Ontario and right here in the Ottawa Region.”

Since 2013, Tarion’s Compliance and Investigations team has opened 72 investigations involving 136 homes in the Greater Ottawa Region. In that same timeframe, Tarion has laid 66 charges related to illegal building and obtained 47 convictions in Provincial Offences Court.

Under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (“the Act”) anyone in the province of Ontario who plans to build and/or sell a new home must be registered with Tarion and enrol the home(s). Prior to being granted registration, all prospective home builders are required to successfully complete a technical evaluation based on the Ontario Building Code and undergo a financial viability and business competency analysis.

“We are here today to raise awareness about illegal building and let homeowners know there is somewhere to turn for help. This awareness campaign is just the first part of our efforts here in Ottawa.

We will be back later this year to follow up on some of our leads during a sweep of the city and are asking consumers who think they may have purchased an illegally built home to contact Tarion,” added Waraich.

RED FLAGS
Homeowners should be suspicious of builders who say things like:

• You don’t need a Tarion warranty because I offer my own;
• I built the home for myself but decided to sell it instead;
• You don’t need a warranty if you leave my name off the building permit and say you’re building it yourself.

New home buyers should visit the Ontario Builder Directory on Tarion’s website before signing a purchase agreement to confirm that their builder is registered. Illegal building can be anonymously reported by calling Tarion at 1-800-786-6497, or by sending an email to enforcement@tarion.com.

Since July 1, 2015, the members of the Ontario Building Partnership have been running a pilot to prevent illegal building. Under the pilot program, Tarion assumes responsibility for providing building departments with a letter that either confirms a builder is registered or provides assurance that the home is a bona fide owner-build.

“As a #homebeliever, I am a big supporter of the illegal building pilot and welcome changes that provide better protection for home buyers.” said Dufresne.

About the Partners:
The groundbreaking Ontario Building Partnership was formed in Fall 2017 to increase consumer protection for new home buyers, improve industry standards and achieve greater consistency in education and application of standards in Ontario’s new home building industry.

The Ontario Building Officials Association supports Ontario building officials in ensuring a safer and a more sustainable and accessible Ontario by delivering training and certification, promoting uniform code application, working with industry partners, providing a voice to policymakers, and advancing the profession. On behalf of the municipalities across Ontario, OBOA’s 2000 members administer provincial laws and municipal by-laws relating to the construction of all types of buildings and structures.

As #homebeliever champions, the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) believes in the great Canadian dream of home ownership by supporting more housing choice and supply across Ontario. OHBA is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario, representing 4,000 member companies organized into 29 local associations across the province.

Tarion is the regulator of new home builders and vendors, that protects the rights of new home buyers according to the terms of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.

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For more information, please contact: Amy Lazar at alazar@ohba.ca or 1-800-387-0109
Ottawa press release_Final.pdf