We’ve come a long way…New homes keep on getting better

Earlier this winter, I was driving my car in the middle of one of Ottawa’s heavy snowstorms.  It was very cold, with poor visibility. I was relieved to be driving a fairly late model vehicle complete with snow tires, a very efficient heating and defrosting system and windshield wipers that …

Ontario Municipal Board Reform

The provincial government has commenced a review of the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), an important part of the province’s land use planning system. The OMB is a quasi-judicial administrative body that acts as a court of appeal and renders decisions based on planning documents which …

The Importance of Low Rise Infill Solutions

Development in existing neighborhoods has been a hot topic for quite some time. As long as there have been mature neighborhoods, there have been people looking to build new projects within them.  This has led to countless discussions –some heated- about what should and should not be done, and as …

Concrete Cracks in New Homes

Every year the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association office receives calls of concern about cracks that have appeared in the basement walls or floors of a new home. This column is intended to explain some of the basic principles of concrete performance and educate new home owners on how to …

The Changing Face of Housing

Canadians often talk about the accelerating pace of change in today’s world and speculate about where it’s all going to end. The integration of mobile phone technology and computers is probably the best example to date and the next big one could well be driverless cars. Although these advances bring greater convenience …

Tracking New Home Buyers Wants and Needs

Understanding the market and customer base is essential for all industries and the companies therein. In 2014-2015, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) and Avid Ratings Canada conducted the first nationwide market preference study for the home building industry, surveying 12,386 new homeowners across six provinces of Canada. The inaugural year …

Educating Elected Officials about Housing

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association includes 9 Provincial and 56 Municipal Associations across the country who rightfully describe themselves as the voice of the residential construction industry. Once each year, volunteer members from across Canada travel to Ottawa to spend the day meeting with Ministers, Deputy Ministers and MPs. Given that …

Housing Industry Success in Mitigating Climate Change

Given the recent focus on climate change by the federal government, it seemed timely to describe the emission reductions that have been achieved in Canada’s housing industry over the past 10 years and suggest where government policy should best be directed over the next decade. First of all, who are …