The Durham Region Home Builders' Association and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) welcome the Government of Ontario’s decision today to expand the list of allowable construction activities under the COVID-19 Emergency Orders. The resumption of more normal construction activities will allow the industry to meet the housing needs of the Durham Region and Ontario.
“Building new homes and communities is a long complicated process and requires different construction activities over a number of seasons,” said Johnathan Schickedanz, president of DRHBA. “Losing the entire construction season for site servicing would be setting our local housing supply back, and risk the homes that our clients are looking to move into next year. Under the new provincial guidelines, we will continue to deliver homes safely today and in the future. “
Today’s decision to resume earthworks or site grading makes sense as every operator is in their own machine, therefore ensuring physical distancing. Site grading is vital to every construction site as it must be completed before all other construction activity can start.
In addition, the decision allows for site and land-servicing projects to commence or continue new residential, industrial, commercial and institutional developments. Underground servicing, the installation of storm water controls, water pipes, sanitary sewer pipes, road construction, including curbs and sidewalk, landscape works, trails, parks and utilities (telecommunications, water, gas, electricity, etc.) are necessary for the activation of new homes and eventual occupancy.
Work must be carried out in compliance with the Ministry of Labour’s Guidelines for Construction site Health and Safety during COVID-19 and the industry supports shuttering any site that does not meet these necessary requirements.
“We all want safe jobsites,” said Joe Vaccaro, OHBA CEO. “Adding these new construction activities along with new provincial COVID-19 health and safety guidelines means members will continue to focus on worker safety while delivering keys to the thousands of families waiting for their homes to be completed. We can keep each other safe while delivering housing supply across Ontario.”