Na­tional con­fer­ence pro­vides valu­able in­sight

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - By Mike Moore

IRECENTLY at­tended the na­tional busi­ness meet­ings and con­fer­ence of the Cana­dian Home Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion. Each ses­sion pro­vided enough ma­te­rial to fill nu­mer­ous col­umns; how­ever, I thought I’d share a few nuggets of in­for­ma­tion gleaned from the meet­ings.

Michael Collins-Wil­liams of the On­tario Home Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion pre­sented two in­ter­est­ing pa­pers. The first was on off­set­ting in­clu­sion­ary zon­ing with den­sity bonuses, re­duc­tions in devel­op­ment charges, changes in park­land ded­i­ca­tions, changes in park­ing al­lowances, tax ex­emp­tions and elim­i­na­tion of land-trans­fer taxes. He warned of screen­ing prob­lems in Toronto re­gard­ing those who can own ver­sus those who can rent, ques­tioned rules re­gard­ing re­sale and the role of condo gov­er­nance and fees.

His sec­ond pa­per was on tran­sit-ori­ented devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. This will be the sub­ject of an en­tire col­umn at a later date, but he out­lined the per­ils of sta­tions that seemed to be po­lit­i­cally es­tab­lished and then were be­ing uti­lized at rid­er­ship lev­els be­low sub­way ser­vice, light rapid-tran­sit ser­vice, bus ser­vice or, for that mat­ter, any form of tran­sit ser­vice.

There was also an in­ter­est­ing pre­sen­ta­tion by Cha­ran Sethi of Tien Sher Homes in Sur­rey, B.C. They are de­vel­op­ing mi­cro-con­dos, some un­der 600 square feet, in or­der to al­low peo­ple to be­come home­own­ers in an ex­tremely ex­pen­sive mar­ket.

About a dozen new home builders in Man­i­toba par­tic­i­pated in the Lo­cal En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency Project hosted by NRCan and Man­i­toba Hy­dro a cou­ple of years ago. Many new en­ergy sav­ing op­tions were pre­sented and adopted into Man­i­toba new homes as a re­sult of this work­shop. A mo­tion was put for­ward na­tion­ally to in­tro­duce a sim­i­lar con­cept for ren­o­va­tors. Ex­pect MHBA RenoMark ren­o­va­tors to be one of the first in Canada to step up to the plate and take part.

Peter Norm of the Al­tus Group shared some in­ter­est­ing fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion. He stated Canada’s debt ser­vice ra­tio has been drop­ping ev­ery year since 2009 and that our rate of sav­ing has con­tin­ued to grow over the past 10 years.

Through­out Canada, 40 per cent more is spent on ren­o­va­tions than on new homes. In fact, more is spent on ren­o­va­tions than com­mer­cial, in­dus­trial and in­sti­tu­tional con­struc­tion. Ren­o­va­tion spend­ing ex­ceeds $70 bil­lion a year in Canada. He shared that ev­ery ex­ist­ing home sale gen­er­ates an av­er­age of $10,000 worth of ren­o­va­tion ac­tiv­ity. Of course, none of this is news to res­i­dents of Win­nipeg and Man­i­toba — the ren­o­va­tion cap­i­tals of Canada. Mike Moore is pres­i­dent of the Man­i­toba Home Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion


This artist ren­der­ing of an af­ford­able 300-square-foot condo in San Francisco may soon be­come re­al­ity here in Canada.

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