Councillors want better homes built in Oakville
Some local Oakville politicians are calling for more oversight and changes to one of Ontario’s long standing home warranty corporations…as well as better quality housing to be built north of this growing municipality.
Town councillor Jasvinder Sandhu and regional councillor Jeff Knoll have introduced a motion to increase the quality of new homes being built in Oakville and a reform of the sole new home insurer in the province, Tarion Warranty Corporation.
Tarion was established to serve as a backstop in the event home builders fail to fulfill their warranty obligations and to administer the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWP). Under this act, anyone who plans to build and/or sell a new home in Ontario must be registered with Tarion.
Other functions include facilitating disputes between homeowners and builders over warranty coverage, ensure new home builders and vendors abide by the ONHWP and investigate and prosecute illegal building practices.
With the recent passage of the More Homes, More Choices Act by the provincial government, Sandhu and Knoll expressed concern that the quality of homes may suffer even if there will be more homes built at different price ranges. Sandhu represents the northern part of Oakville along Dundas Street that still has land ripe for development.
“This motion is a request to the provincial legislature to start work on the great ideas they had earlier in the year about Tarion reform. I would like to see our community and others all over the province, receiving what they pay for, not just what’s safe. As Ward 7 in north Oakville is currently primed for development, many of the resident’s concerns I see are related to new home builds,” Sandhu said.
“Though Tarion works within the guardrails of the law, quality isn’t addressed in the legislation and once the one-year inspection has passed, Tarion does very little to address home issues besides large structural problems.” One example Sandhu cited were outdated guidelines in Ontario’s Building Code, like only requiring one working toilet regardless of the size of the home.
“Tarion is due for a review of its service delivery model as well as its overall governance structure. Oakville new home buyers need to be able to trust this important agency to help safeguard them as they make one of, if not the most important investment decisions of their lives,” Knoll added.
A request for report asking for potential options available to the town to improve the quality of homes was also brought forward by the councillor.
The report is due for delivery from staff in May of 2020.