OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Jan. 11, 2006 Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH) is encouraging all candidates running in the federal election to commit to increased consumer protection related to housing and to explain to Canadians how they will make this a reality if elected. While there are good builders in Canada, consumers have no reliable means of identifying the good builders. Tens of thousands of homeowners from various regions of Canada have been devastated health-wise and financially by poor quality home construction.
“Failure to meet and enforce the minimum standards of Building Codes can lead to unhealthy indoor air quality, financial devastation and wasted energy,” said Karen Somerville, President of CPBH. “Since CMHC got out of the business of inspecting new homes approximately 20 years ago, new housing quality has sunk to what many now call ‘disposable’ housing. Imagine putting your life’s savings into a house and finding out that it is making you sick and you can’t sell it. In Canada, we can and must do better than that.”
In Canada, anyone can call themselves a builder, so the importance of adequate Building Codes and their proper interpretation and enforcement is extremely important in protecting Canadians.
Specific recommendations for Members of Parliament include:
- Ensuring that public funds used for affordable housing produce new homes that are properly built at the outset and go beyond the minimum standards of applicable Building Codes to ensure these homes are durable and affordable in the long term. All Canadians, including those in need of affordable housing, deserve a safe and healthy place to live.
- Revising the National Building Code to ensure that all homes are safe, healthy, durable and energy efficient. Examples of specific revisions required include: improving indoor air quality, establishing longevity standards and improving energy saving requirements.
- Taking the lead in developing a national builder rating system, that rates builders based on actual builder performance, with input from both homeowners and municipal and/or private building inspectors, and providing the results to the public.
- Working with all levels of government to ensure that the minimum standards of current Building Codes are enforced.
- Conducting a national study on the health effects of improperly built homes and their impact on Canada’s health care system.
- Consulting with Canadian consumers when developing policies related to housing.
Highlights of national party responses to CPBH (presented in the order received) include the following:
- New Democrats agree that every person has the right to a solid home that is structurally sound and they support CPBH efforts to ensure that home builders build their homes properly the first time;
- The Green Party is committed to improving the quality of Canadian homes and doesn’t accept the argument that better standards will result in additional costs for consumers;
- A Conservative government will enforce standards and work with the provincial governments to ensure that all homes are safe, healthy, durable and energy efficient; and
- The Liberals are committed to developing a long term housing strategy that serves all Canadians.
For complete national party responses and further details on the issues raised by CPBH, please go to:
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Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH) is a national, not for profit corporation dedicated to healthy, safe, durable, energy efficient residential housing for Canadians, and is the only organization of its kind in Canada. Working for consumer awareness and protection, CPBH is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and is supported by a volunteer Advisory Council of industry experts and other key stakeholders. CPBH has supporters in different parts of Canada, is undertaking projects at the municipal, provincial and federal level and offers a variety of ways for Canadians to get involved.
Visit www.canadiansforproperlybuilthomes.com .
For further information, media may contact: Connie Cochran, (613) 831-1871
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