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BUILDING DURHAM


  • March 31, 2022 11:05 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The provincial election will be called sometime this spring, and in anticipation, the Ontario Home Builders' Association (OHBA) has launched a third party advertising campaign:


    You can visit the full campaign website here: https://www.ontariobuildmorehomes.ca/

    As part of the campaign, OHBA is also looking to interview people as part of a Facebook video stream.  Volunteers will be asked to meet on May 3 for about 15-20 minutes to talk about the current housing market and what they are seeing/experiencing.  If you are willing to volunteer, please contact Stacey as soon as possible.

  • March 31, 2022 9:58 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    As the province continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, DRHBA members and the residential construction sector have continued to deliver critically needed housing supply in communities across Ontario.  This has been done over the last two years, while increasing health and safety measures on jobsites and was only possible because of the ongoing steadfast resolve, passion and commitment that our members have to our industry.

    While our sector continues to face supply chain, material and labour challenges, members are continuing the vital work of keeping our jobsites safe and healthy while deserving the keys for a new or newly renovated home to awaiting families.  Keeping our job and worksites safe and healthy has been critical to ensuring that we can continue delivering the housing supply and choice families need.  The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development continues to actively inspect jobsites across the province.

    Members should be aware that there have been changes made to the requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA), which took effect on March 21, 2022.  These changes include new guidelines around the use of the following measures in the workplace:

    • Masking
    • Screening
    • Safety plans
    • Assessing the workplace
    • Addressing potential COVID-19 illness or exposure at work

    Despite these changes, we must not waver in our commitment to health  and safety.  Members must stay vigilant and proactive in ensuring health and safety on jobsites, sales & decor centres, offices and all places of work.  

    Members are encouraged to reach out to the Ministry business information line at 1-888-444-3659 with any questions or concerns regarding these changes.


  • March 31, 2022 9:47 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced Phase 2 in seeking feedback by April 23 on Phase 2 of the Greenbelt consultation process as part of ERO #019-4485.  The Ministry is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Greenbelt Plan (including the schedules) that could add 13 new Urban River Valley (URV) areas to the Greenbelt.  While this ERO posting relates specifically to the proposed amendment to the Greenbelt Plan, there are two related ERO postings as part of the Phase 2 consultation:

    • ERO #019-4483 seeking feedback on changes to the boundary of the Greenbelt Area through a proposed amendment to the Greenbelt Area boundary regulation O. Reg. 59/05.
    • ERO #019-4803 seeking ideas for adding more Urban River Valleys to the Greenbelt.

    Since 2013, OHBA has supported the addition of URVs into the Greenbelt as a way to effectively and meaningfully grow the Greenbelt and protected areas for generations to come.  OHBA will be reviewing the changes proposed as part of Phase 2 of the consultation and responding accordingly as they did during Phase 1.  


  • March 31, 2022 8:25 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    Yesterday, Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, tabled the provincial government's new housing legislation.  Entitled the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022, this legislation takes major steps to reduce red tape, streamline development approval processes, work with all levels of government and industry to accelerate the new housing stock and, charts a roadmap to implement the recommendations from the Housing Affordability Task Force with a commitment to bring forward annual Housing Supply Action Plans each year over the next four years.

    See below relevant links to the legislation, OHBA’s news release and the provincial news release.

    See below a detailed breakdown on key parts of the legislation that members should be aware of. OHBA will be reviewing the legislation in full and participating in consultation processes in the near future.

    SITE PLAN CONTROL:
    Proposed Planning Act and City of Toronto Act, 2006 amendments would streamline site plan requirements and approval processes by:

    • Requiring delegation of site plan control decisions from municipal councils to staff (would apply to all applications received on or after July 1, 2022)
    • Extending site plan control application review timelines from 30 days to 60 days 
    • Applying complete application requirements to site plan, with recourse if the application has not been deemed complete within 30 days of acceptance by the municipality 

    Proposed Planning Act amendments that would apply to all site plan applications received on and after January 1, 2023, would incentivize municipalities to make timely decisions by:

    • Requiring municipalities to gradually refund site plan control application fees if a decision is not made within the legislated timelines: 
      • 50% of the fee if the plans and drawings are not approved within 60 days from the date the municipality received the complete application and fee
      • 75% of the fee if the plans and drawings are not approved within 90 days from the date the municipality received the complete application and fee, and 
      • 100% of the fee if the plans and drawings are not approved within 120 days from the date the municipality received the complete application and fee 

    PLANS OF SUBDIVISION:
    Proposed Planning Act amendments would streamline subdivision approval processes by:

    • Establishing regulation-making authority to prescribe what can and/or cannot be required as a condition of draft plan of subdivision approval to prevent scope creep
    • Establishing a one-time discretionary authority to allow municipalities to reinstate draft plans of subdivision that have lapsed within the past five years without a new application where units have not been pre-sold to prevent redundancies

    ZONING BY-LAW AMENDMENTS
    Proposed Planning Act amendments that would apply to all rezoning applications received on and after January 1, 2023, would incentivize municipalities to make timely decisions by:

    • Requiring municipalities to gradually refund zoning by-law amendment fees if they fail to make a decision on an application within the legislated timelines: 
      • 50% of the fee if the decision is not made within 90 days (or 120 days if concurrent with an OPA application) from the date the complete application and fee are received
      • 75% of the fee if the decision is not made within 150 days (or 180 days if concurrent with an OPA application) from the date the complete application and fee are received
      • 100% of the fee if the decision is not made within 210 days (or 240 days if concurrent with an OPA application) from the date the complete application and fee are received

    COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE AND HOUSING ACCELERATOR
    The government is introducing a new tool to help municipalities accelerate their own planning process – the Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator (CIHA). It would help municipalities speed up approvals for housing and community infrastructure, while increasing transparency and accountability. This tool would:

    • Empower local communities and break down silos by removing barriers and accelerating downstream approvals for the municipality requesting the tool.
    • Focus on specific types of projects such as non-profit housing, market housing or long-term care
    • Strengthen accountability by requiring municipalities to consult with the public, before a request is submitted to MMAH
    • Enhance transparency by requiring the municipality’s request and the final CIHA order be available to the public
    • Allow the minister to impose conditions on orders.

    BUILDING CODE
    Proposed changes to the Building Code:

    • Allow 12-storey mass timber buildings
    • Streamline modular multi-unit residential building approvals
    • Facilitate more infill multi-unit housing by exploring opportunities to allow for single means of egress in 4-6 storey residential buildings, while continuing to protect public health and safety
    • Explore safe ways to allow residents and commercial tenants of the lower floors of super-tall buildings under construction to move into their units earlier. 

    DEVELOPMENT-RELATED CHARGES
    Increase transparency and certainty of development charges (DCs), community benefit charges (CBCs) and parkland dedication levies by: 

    • Enhancing reporting requirements including posting-annual financial reports for development-related charges on municipal websites.
    • Requiring municipalities with a CBC by-law to publicly consult and complete a review of the by-law at least once every five years.
    • Implementing a tiered alternative parkland dedication rate that would be applicable only for Transit-Oriented Community (TOC) developments.
      • For sites 5 hectares or less, parkland would be dedicated up to 10% of the land or its value
      • For sites greater than 5 hectares, parkland would be dedicated up to 15% of the land or its value 
      • Encumbered parkland could be identified through a Minister’s order and would be deemed to count towards any municipal parkland dedication requirements

    SURETY BONDS
    Proposed regulation-making authority related to the use of surety bonds and other instruments used to secure development obligations by municipalities, that would enable future regulations to: 

    • Authorize owners of land and applicants to stipulate the type of surety bonds and other prescribed instruments used to secure agreement obligations in connection with local approval of land use planning matters
    • A future regulation would maintain the municipal ability to obtain the financial security they need to secure the land-use developer obligations in municipal agreements. 

    ONTARIO LAND TRIBUNAL (OLT)
    The provincial government will invest over $19 million to help the OLT and the Landlord and Tenant Board speed up decisions and reduce the backlog of cases. Funding will:

    • Increase staffing resources (including adjudicators) and resolve cases faster; and
    • Support technology capacity at the OLT to reduce delays, enhance efficiencies & e-services. 

    Proposed changes to the Planning Act to assist in depoliticizing planning decisions,

    • Empower the OLT by enabling the Minister of MMAH, when making decisions on official plans and amendments, to refer:
      • All or parts of an Official Plan matter to the OLT for a recommendation; and
      • All of an Official Plan matter to the OLT to make a decision as an impartial adjudicator 
    • Allow the Minister to pause the 120-day decision-making timeline on official plans and amendments before the Minister for approval.

    IMPROVED DATA

    • Proposed Planning Act amendments would establish authority to require public reporting by planning authorities on development applications that have been submitted, are complete, under review, and approved and the use of a data standard.
    • Reporting to municipalities on the results of MOF’s annual population projections with a focus on emerging and key population growth trends.
    • Establishing a development approvals data standard to help create a more efficient and consistent approvals process. A development approvals data standard would also support consistency and standardization, and e-permitting across the province. (Ontario Digital Service) 
    • Connecting transit ridership forecasts to population growth for housing and employment 

    BETTER UTILIZING PROVINCIALLY OWNED LANDS

    • To help make underutilized or surplus properties owned by the government more productive for their communities, the government is 
      • Proposing a Centre of Realty Excellence (CORE) that would focus on how we can better use approximately 10,000 acres of underused or surplus government-owned real estate
      • Developing a process to help housing providers, including not-for-profit providers, take advantage of underutilized or surplus government properties to create more community and supportive housing. 

    LAND SPECULATION

    • Ontario is increasing the Non-Resident Speculation Tax rate from 15 to 20 per cent.
    • Expanding the tax beyond the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region to apply provincewide.
    • Eliminating loopholes by limiting Non-Resident Speculation Tax relief eligibility to only newcomers who commit to lay down roots in the province long-term.
      • Rebates for new permanent residents of Canada and related exemptions will be available to eligible newcomers to ensure Ontario continues to be welcoming to new Canadians.
      • This includes an opportunity for foreign nationals studying and working in Ontario who become permanent residents of Canada to apply for the rebate.  
    • Transitional provisions will be available for eligible transactions entered into before March 30, 2022, if specific criteria are met.   
    • Working with municipalities that are looking to establish a Vacant Home Tax, which is another tool to increase the supply of housing.
      • A working group with municipal representatives to facilitate the sharing of information and best practices will be established.
    • Consultations on potential measures to address concerns related to land speculation will also be launched.

    REGULATORY AND WARRANTY CHANGES

    • The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is proposing amendments to the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 and to the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, 1990 to increase protections for purchasers of new homes through:
      • increasing the fines that the discipline committee may impose,
      • increasing the administrative penalties that could be imposed,
      • enabling the consideration of monetary benefit in determining a fine or penalty,
      • giving the Home Construction Regulatory Authority clearer authority to address unethical conduct, and
      • enabling Tarion to extend the warranties on unfinished items in a new home.
    • The Ministry is also consulting on proposals to better inform purchasers of new condominium homes through:
      • requiring key information to be provided, through a mandatory condominium information sheet, to buyers of pre-construction condo units as part of a purchase agreement,
      • increasing the amount of interest payable on deposits for the purchase of a new or preconstruction unit from a developer in certain circumstances, such as in case a project is canceled, and
      • providing additional information about condo projects and cancellations to the Home Construction Regulatory Authority to post on the Ontario Builder Directory.
    • The government is working with municipalities to identify and enhance measures that will crack down on land speculation.


  • March 17, 2022 12:47 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    At the March 9 meeting of the Region of Durham Committee of the Whole, the committee received report 2022-COW-7, which details the Regional Incentive Program for Affordable Housing.

    Proposed Framework for the At Home Incentive Program:

    5.1 The proposed At Home Incentive Program is intended to support the development of new affordable rental housing projects. The program will provide the opportunity to increase the supply of affordable rental housing for low-income households, including households on the DASH wait list, and to grow the supply of safe, adequate and affordable rental housing.

    5.2 Eligible affordable housing rental projects under the At Home Incentive Program will provide a minimum of 5 affordable housing units and will include:

    a) New construction;

    b) Conversion of non-residential buildings to purpose-built rental housing;

    c) Addition of new affordable buildings/units to existing sites/buildings;

    d) Community housing redevelopment that increases the supply of affordable housing units.

    5.3 To expedite project delivery and to enable competition for Regional incentives, staff recommend that the Region publicly announce invitations for eligible affordable housing proposals through an annual call for applications. This approach can be facilitated through a registry of non-profit and private developers of affordable rental housing, which will be regularly updated by staff.

    5.4 A minimum of 5 per cent of total units in eligible projects must be affordable at no more than 100 per cent of CMHC average market rent for a minimum 25-year period of affordability. However, a higher proportion of affordable units, deeper affordability and a longer affordability period will be preferred.

    5.5 Eligible projects will be evaluated based on real-time community need and Regional preferences. Consideration of project eligibility will include an evaluation of the following, but not limited to:

    a) financial and operational ability to carry the project and ability to meet debt coverage ratio requirements;

    b) number of units and percentage of units in the project that will be affordable;

    c) period of affordability;

    d) depth of affordability;e)community need, including but not limited to, targeted groups, unit size and geographic location;

    f) cost per unit;

    g) extent to which the project meets accessibility standards with respect to barrier-free designs, elevators and other accessibility features;

    h) extent to which the project aligns with the Region’s climate emergency declaration and supports implementation of the Durham Community Energy Plan, including consideration of the project’s energy efficiency measures to reduce utility operating costs and its operational GHG emissions footprint; and

    i) proximity to transit, community amenities and services.

    5.6 To be successful in providing adequate funding for the At Home Incentive Program, base funding is necessary to ensure that a critical mass of units can be funded. To initiate the At Home Incentive Program, it is recommended that the Region establish an At Home Incentive Program Reserve Fund (AHIPRF). To activate the Program, it is recommended that $5 million from the Regional Revitalization Program Reserve be transferred to the recommended new AHIPRF.

    5.7 To optimize project outcomes, the At Home Incentive Program will be stackable with other programs offered by the Region and other levels of government including but not limited to:

    a) the Regional Revitalization Plan (RRP) which allows the Region to providecapital grants for private redevelopment projects, sponsored by the areamunicipalities within their respective Community Improvement Plan (CIP)areas. The RRP has been successful in providing capital grants to eligiblerevitalization projects within downtown areas;

    b) the Housing Services Development Charges Reserve Fund for eligibleprojects; and

    c) incentive programs or funding opportunities offered by federal or provinciallevels of government.

    5.8 To activate the At Home Incentive Program, staff will develop a set of program guidelines and administrative framework, that will include but not be limited to:

    a) project eligibility requirements;

    b) details of program administration, including the process for inviting and reviewing candidate affordable housing projects, processes for ensuring that affordability targets are achieved;

    c) monitoring and resourcing requirements to ensure that awarded projects continue to be compliant with program requirements;

    d)legal remedies in the event of a default, either during construction or once an awarded project is in operation, including repayment of Regional financial assistance or disposition of projects; and

    e) a communications plan to maximize uptake of the program.

    You can view the presentation and discussion here.

    If you have any questions, comments and concerns, contact Stacey.


  • March 17, 2022 12:04 PM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    At today's City of Pickering Executive Committee meeting, the committee will be reviewing the proposed 2022 Fees & Charges.  If passed by the committee, the proposed fees will be brought to Council on March 28.

    The fee increases will impact both City Development Departments - Building and Planning, as well as Development Services, Engineering Services and Legal Services.

    If you have any questions or comments, please contact Stacey.


  • March 17, 2022 11:46 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The Region of Durham has released two reports, 2022-INFO-19 and the Growth Management Study consultant's Alternative Land Need Scenarios Assessment Summary Report.

    Members should review both reports and take note of any comments, questions or concerns.  The Region of Durham is requesting all feedback on the alternative land need scenarios by April 14.

    A public information meeting will also be held on March 24, 2022 at 7 p.m., which will feature a presentation and the opportunity to ask questions about alternative land need scenarios.  You can register here for this meeting.

    All available information about the Region's comprehensive review (Envision Durham) can be found on their project web page.


  • March 17, 2022 10:32 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) is delaying the implementation of the Excess Soil Requirements initiative through ERO #019-5203.  This changes the obligations of members regarding excess soils and members should review the linked posting.

    The purpose of the proposal is to temporarily delay the implementation of the provisions in the Excess Soil Regulation that came into effect January 1, 2022 until January 1, 2023.  MECP notes this would "allow more time for the gradual implementation and better understanding of the regulation."  OHBA will reviewing and responding to this new consultation accordingly.

    If you have any related questions or require clarification, please reach out to OHBA Director of Planning Policy and Advocacy, Larry Kotseff.


  • March 17, 2022 10:25 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The City of Oshawa is seeking input on the potential city-wide expansion of the Residential Rental House Licensing (RRHL) Program.

    Currently, the City requires all rental properties in the vicinity of Durham College and Ontario Tech University to be licensed under the RRHL Program, which ensures rentals comply with minimum standards of health, safety and property maintenance.  A city-wide expansion of the RRHL Program would require all rental properties in Oshawa to become licensed.

    Members can provide feedback by:

    • Completing a feedback form on Connect Oshawa
    • Attending a Special Meeting of the Corporate Services Committee on Monday, April 4 at 9:30 a.m.  
    • Contacting Stacey

    Feedback will be received until noon Monday, April 18, 2022, and considered in the development of regulatory licensing standards that will be presented to the Corporate Services Committee later this year.


  • March 17, 2022 10:18 AM | Durham Region Home Builders' Association (Administrator)

    The Region of Durham is in the process of updating their Regional Transit Development Charge Bylaw.  The current bylaw is set to expire on December 31, 2022, however council has authorized staff to have a new bylaw in place by July 1, 2022.

    The background study will be released on April 12, 2022, followed by the statutory public meeting on April 27, 2022.

    Deadline for comments on the background study is June 3, 2022 at 5 p.m.  

    DRHBA will send the background study to members once it is released, and questions/comments can be sent to Stacey.



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1-1255 Terwillegar Avenue

Oshawa, Ontario

L1J 7A4






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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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