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  • April 21, 2020 3:05 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be open on April 27.

    The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is a program designed to help employers that have been impacted by the pandemic and to help Canadians stay employed.

    The subsidy could cover up to 75% of an employee's wages (to a maximum of $847 per week).  Employers who have seen a drop in gross revenue of at least 15% in March and 30% in April and May are eligible for the subsidy - regardless of the size of the business.  The program is available for 12 weeks, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

    The federal government also has an online calculator is available to help employers determine how much their subsidy may be.  You can also determine if your company is eligible, which employees are eligible and how to apply on April 27.

    Click here for the calculator and eligibility information

  • April 21, 2020 2:34 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB) and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNCCDSB) boards were reviewing their bylaws to be renewed in June because their bylaws were expiring at the end of June.  However, with the passing of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act last week, the boards now have the opportunity to extend their bylaws for up to six months after the termination of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

    DRHBA has been in touch with Watson & Associates, the consultant retained by the boards, and they have told us that the school boards are going to extend their existing bylaws until at least September, and there will be no public meetings or public engagement at this time.

    View/Download the Background Study

  • April 16, 2020 2:44 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new federal government assistance program, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program.  While full details have not yet been released, Trudeau said that this program will provide support for small businesses to meet rent dues and that the federal government will be collaborating with the provinces to set it up.  The support would available for April, May and June.

    Finance Minister Bill Morneau shined more light on the program, saying the government would be offering loans, including forgivable loans to commercial landlords who offer rent reductions to businesses.

    In addition, Trudeau also announced that the Canada Emergency Business Account will now be open to businesses that spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

  • April 16, 2020 2:29 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The Town of Whitby is now showing the most updated version of the Whitby Green Standard, the planning tool the Town is developing to help advance sustainable new development across the Town of Whitby.

    Click here to access the following documents:

    • Site Plan Checklist
    • Subdivision Checklist
    • Program Brochure
    • Training Guidebook
    • Reference Guide

    The Town is encouraging you to review these documents and provide your comments via the online survey by no later than Friday, April 25.

    In addition, the Town is inviting you to attend the final Stakeholder Consultation Session, scheduled to take place online on Wednesday, April 29 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

    This session will be led by the consultants Planning Partnership &  Urban Equation and will run through the process of the Whitby Green Standard and provide an opportunity to address the feedback received through the surveys.

    Click here to register for the Stakeholder Consultation Session.

  • April 15, 2020 3:38 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    Clarington council met last night and one of the items on the agenda was the current development charge bylaw review.  Their current development charge bylaw is set to expire on July 1, 2020, and the municipality is currently in the midst of creating a new bylaw.

    The Durham Region Home Builders' Association submitted a letter to council yesterday encouraging them to take advantage of the provincial legislation tabled yesterday that allows the current bylaw to be extended for up to six months after the termination of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.  As the Act was extended yesterday until early May, the current DC bylaw could be extended until at least November.

    DRHBA felt strongly that it was essential that council extend the bylaw, giving members time to thoroughly review the background study and technical appendix and provide important feedback.

    We are pleased to share that council agreed with DRHBA's request, and last night passed a motion: That, in accordance with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020, which received Royal Assent on April 14, 2020, the Municipality's existing Development Charges By-Law (By-law 2015-035) shall remain in force until  such date as specified in the Act and therefore, staff be directed to schedule the statutory public meeting for a date after the lifting of the emergency declared under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act on March 17, 2020 with such meeting being advertised publicly.

    Other motions in regards to the development charge bylaw that directed staff to continue their consultations with DRHBA members and builders in the community prior to finalizing the background study and bylaw; and to release the background study and bylaw at a date to be determined by the Director of Finance.

    Members are encouraged to review the background study and the technical appendix, and send their comments to Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.

  • April 14, 2020 4:06 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    TORONTO ― On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario legislature and with the full cooperation of all parties, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until May 12. The extension of the provincial declaration of emergency allows Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as the closure of all non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities such as parks and recreational areas, public places and bars and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and prohibitions against price-gouging. A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

    "During these unprecedented times, we cannot let our guard down. The actions being taken by everyone to stay home and practice physical distancing are making a difference, but we are not out of the woods yet," said Premier Ford. "With the support of every Ontario MPP, we continue to take any and all actions necessary to support our frontline health care workers and respond rapidly and decisively to slow the spread of this deadly virus."

    The legislature also passed the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act to amend the Education Act, Planning Act, Development Charges Act, Police Services Act and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act. This new legislation demonstrates that the government is actively listening to the concerns of education and municipal stakeholders during this COVID-19 emergency.

    "This legislation is about protecting the health and economic interests of Ontarians," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "We will do whatever it takes to get through this challenge ― most especially for the next generation ― so that students continue learning and graduating."

    The amendments to the Education Act will allow school boards to continue charging fees on new construction in order to retain a vital source of revenue for new school projects. The bill also includes an amendment to provide a fair and consistent provincewide approach to addressing school suspensions and expulsions as part of the government's commitment to the safety of students and staff upon the reopening of schools.

    The changes to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act will temporarily suspend student loan payments for OSAP borrowers and initiate a six-month interest-free moratorium on OSAP loans.

    "We are taking action to ease the financial burden for students and current borrowers during the COVID-19 outbreak," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. "By temporarily suspending loan repayments and interest accrual, our government is providing immediate support for OSAP borrowers during these challenging times."  

    The government is making it possible to suspend certain municipal planning decision timelines during the state of emergency, and change the Development Charges Act to ensure municipalities can continue to count on a vital source of revenue that helps pay for local growth-related infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewers as well as fire and police services. The amendments to the Police Services Act also allow the Solicitor General to give municipalities an extension beyond January 1, 2021 to prepare and adopt a community safety and well-being plan.

    "Nothing is more important than protecting the health and well-being of all individuals and families," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We have listened to our municipal partners and made these changes to help them better manage staff time and resources so they can focus on the COVID-19 outbreak."

    "In these unprecedented times, our government is doing everything in its power to support our municipal, policing and community partners," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "While Community Safety and Well-Being Plans are an important tool for municipalities to keep our communities safe, we need them to focus on allocating resources where they are needed most right now, and that is to stop the spread of COVID-19."

  • April 14, 2020 3:56 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    Today, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario convened in a special session to pass an emergency piece of legislation - Bill 189 The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020. Today's legislation responded to a number of issues that OHBA has raised with the provincial government.  The legislation amends a number of pieces of legislation with the following highlights:

    Schedule #1: Development Charges Act:

    • A new Section 9.2 of the Development Charges Act, 1997 provides that development charge bylaws that expired on or after March 17, 2020 and before the day the section comes into force are deemed to not have expired and shall remain in force until the earlier of the day the bylaw is repealed and the specified date.  The section also provides that development charge bylaws that expire on or after the day the section comes into force and before the specified date shall remain in force until the earlier of the day the bylaw is repealed and the specified date.
    • The specified date is defined as the date that is six months after the termination or disallowance of the emergency.
    • The schedule comes into force at Royal Assent (expected Tuesday, April 14)

    Schedule #2: Education Act:

    • The Education Act is amended to add a section addressing the expiring of education development charge by-laws during the current state of  emergency;
    • The specified date will be a date six months after the state of emergency is terminated;
    • The schedule comes into force  with Royal Assent (expected today);
    • These amendments respond directly to a number of concerns raised by HBAs;

    Schedule #4: Planning Act:

    • The Planning Act is amended to authorize the Minister to make regulations in connection with the current state of emergency;
    • The regulations may, among other things, govern the application of periods of time describe in the Planning Act and the regulations and in Sec 114 of the City of Toronto Act and provide that an order made under subsection 7.1 (2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act does not apply, and in certain cases is deemed to have never applied;
    • Sec 7.1 (2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act states, “temporarily suspend the operation of a provision of a statute, regulation, rule, by-law or order of the Government of Ontario”;
    • The regulations may be apply on a retroactive basis;
    • The legislation may provide that the period of the emergency shall not be included for the purposes of counting a period of time;
    • Therefore municipalities could temporarily suspend planning timelines back to March 17, 2020 without the risk of appeal (for a non-decision); however it also confirms the ability for virtual public meetings and the ability to approve applications for municipalities that wish to continue processing applications;
    • OHBA will report further when the Regulations have been passed, but the actions made by the province today are intended to allow municipalities to continue to make land use decisions and to ensure the ability for those decisions to come into effect if they are not appealed. Previously under the state of emergency, legal planning decisions by a municipality could not come into effect.

  • April 14, 2020 10:21 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB) and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNCCDSB) have to renew their Education Development Charge (EDC) bylaws in the municipality in Clarington before the end of June.

    The background study has been completed, and currently the public meetings will be held virtually.

    Provincial legislation has put a cap on the amount of increase that school boards can impose. 

    The proposed increase for the KPRDSB are as follows:

     2015 EDC Rate Year 1  Year 2  Year 3  Year 4  Year 5  Max Rate 
     $1,028 $1,328  $1,628  $1,928  $2,143  $2,143  $2,143 

    The proposed increase for the PVNCDSB are as follows:

     2015 EDC Rate Year 1  Year 2  Year 3  Year 4  Year 5  Max Rate 
     $710 $1,010  $1,202  $1,202  $1,202  $1,202  $1,202 

    Public Meetings:

    First Meeting - Policy Review Public Meeting

    Tuesday, May 5, 7:00 p.m.

    Second Meeting - Successor By-Law Public Meeting

    Tuesday, May 5, 7:15 p.m.

    Third Meeting - In Consideration of By-Law Adoption

    Monday, June 8, 6:30 p.m. (PVNCCDSB)

    Tuesday, June 9, 6:00 p.m. (KPRDSB)

    View/Download the Background Study

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.

  • April 13, 2020 3:20 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    What is the Community Benefits Charge?

    Under Bill 108, the Community Benefits Charge is a new charge that will be in addition to development charges.  It was designed to replace three existing municipal tools:

    • Density bonusing under section 37 of the Planning Act;
    • Parkland dedication under sections 42 and 51.1 of the Planning Act;
    • Some DCs for discounted (soft) services under the Development Charges Act

    What are the CBCs supposed to fund?

    The Community Benefits Charge can only fund services not eligible to be included in a DC, and might include:

    • Parkland acquisition
    • Child care
    • Municipal parking
    • Social housing
    • Airport
    • Shelters
    • Courts
    • Animal Control
    • Public art and other civic improvements currently funded by section 37.

    On February 28th, the province released a proposed framework for this new CBC.  Under this proposal, the province suggested that soft cost DCs would be removed from the CBC and placed back into the DC Act.  In this proposal, it was also suggested that the 10% discount for DCs that is included in the existing DC Act would also be eliminated, meaning that builders and developers would have to pay full charge for the items included within the DC bylaws.

    What will the Community Benefits Charge cost?

    The Community Benefits Charge will be calculated as a percentage of land value.  The current proposal for the regulation would allow for municipalities to charge a maximum amount of 15% total.  This is split between lower-tier municipalities (10%) and upper-tier municipalities (5%).

    The land value would  be calculated  on the day before the date the building permit is issued.

    But what is this ACTUALLY going to cost?

    Altus Group did some projections on what the CBC could actually cost under the current proposed regulation- based on a per single-detached basis. 

    Their projections are the combined impact of changes to the DCs & introduction of CBCs.

    In Pickering, it could be a potential increase of $36,322 per single detached.  The total amount paid in DCs and CBCs could be $103,579.

    In Clarington, it could be a potential increase of $29,130 per single detached.  The total amount paid in DCs and CBCs could be $94,417.

    You can also calculate how the CBC and changes to development charges will impact your business specifically by using a calculator created by OHBA.

    Download CBC Calculator

    Download/View CBC Calculator Sample

    Download/View Current DC Charges

    Wait, won't the CBCs reduce the development charge?

    Not necessarily.  With the introduction of the Community Benefits Charge, there are also some changes to the development charge calculation.  These changes include removing the 10% statutory deduction for soft services such as library, parks and recreation, etc.  This could lead to an increase in development charges.

    For example, if a municipality is currently charging $14,133 for parks and recreation for a single detached home, when the 10% deduction is removed, that charge increases to $15,703.  Likewise, if the library charge is $1,003, removing the deduction would increase the charge to $1,103.

    Lower cost items, such as municipal parking, will be removed, but that deduction would be less than the increase on other items, leading to an overall increase in the charge.

    How are municipalities going to calculate the CBC?

    Unknown at this time.  Neither Bill 108 nor the regulation proposal provides for a methodology or imposes explicit rules on the calculation of a CBC - which the DC currently has.

    Will the CBC be the same charge for all developments?

    It doesn't have to be.  A municipality can impose CBC rates that are different for different types of development - a lower rate for non-residential for example.

    When will this come into effect?

    Municipalities will be given one year from the date the regulations come into effect to implement their CBC charge and to amend their DC by-law.

    The regulation could come into force by late spring or early summer.

    What can I do to stop this?

    The good news is that it is currently a proposed regulation, and it has not been finalized yet, so there is still time to let your voice be heard.

    The deadline to submit comments is Monday, April 20.

    All builders and developers are strongly encouraged to send an email to the ministry at john.ballantine@ontario.ca and cc DRHBA at s.hawkins@drhba.com.

    OHBA has created a form email that you can use to start - please personalize it to make it have more of an impact.

    Download the Form Letter

  • April 12, 2020 3:52 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    From attorney general Doug Downey:

    I am writing to let you know that the Ontario government is revising one element of a previous emergency order, O. Reg. 73/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which suspended limitation periods and procedural time periods retroactive to March 16, 2020.

    The previous order was made to help Ontarians who are having difficulty meeting those time requirements as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    The emergency order has been amended to lift the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods under the Construction Act.  This will allow for the release of holdback payments to contractors and subcontractors in the normal course, helping to resolve a potentially significant cash flow problem as a result of the order for the construction industry.

    The suspension will be lifted on April 16, 2020, to give the industry time to prepare for these changes.  Once lifted, parties will have the same amount of time to meet a deadline that had been remaining before the suspension began on March 16, 2020.

    The amendments to the order also address the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act.

    View the e-law

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Durham Region Home Builders' Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 1-1255 Terwillegar Avenue Oshawa, Ontario L1J 7A4

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