Councillor calls for oversight
As complaints about the conduct of construction crews pile up in his ward as a result of increased infill development, Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper is calling for the creation of an ombudsperson “to whom residents can go when things turn bad on a project.”
Not only does Leiper want the creation of an ombudsperson, but he wants the industry to pay for it itself; Leiper singled out the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association to fund the position. “We need a body that can sanction bad builders, and recognize good,” he wrote.
Leiper’s ward has been a hotbed for infill development in recent years, which has led to a breakdown in the relationship between residents and builders. In a blog post on Saturday, Leiper shared a screenshot of a text message exchange in which a builder called a resident “an idiot” for asking that they move a security fence off the home’s wall.
“One of the greatest frustrations I have as the one looked to most often to sort out disagreements between builders and neighbours is how few tools councillors and even the city have to deal with the complaints that we hear,” wrote Leiper. “When things go wrong, we need better tools to deal with that.”