Working for Healthy, Safe, Durable, Energy Efficient Housing for Canadians since 2004

Accomplishments

Canadians For Properly Built Homes > What We’re Doing > Accomplishments


When CPBH was established in 2004, co-founders Alan Greenberg and Karen Somerville knew the road ahead to accomplish CPBH’s mission and vision would be very challenging.

Forces to maintain the status quo were strong. They still are. Despite the onerous challenge, CPBH has emerged as a tenacious, vocal and reliable advocate for consumers of newly built homes. Through its extensive network, CPBH has earned the respect of governments at all levels, industry, media and not for profit organizations for its work.

CPBH is recognized for its expertise in the various regimes that govern newly built homes across Canada and their impact on Canadian consumers. From Senators to municipal building officials, from industry experts to medical doctors to legal counsel, all agree that Canadians need and deserve swift action to protect consumers from improperly built homes. Why? Because the risks endanger people’s health and safety. These are the very principles upon which the building codes are based.


“Great work! Keep fighting for what’s right. A great voice for Canadians.”

Greg Rheaume


CPBH has been invited to share its expertise at opportunities such as a Deputation to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Social Policy, and presentations to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, as well as to provide input to the audit of the Tarion Warranty Corporation by the Auditor General of Ontario.  In addition, CPBH has been invited by the governments of Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia in relation to their respective new home warranty legislation and or regulations.

This not-for-profit is also known for its well-researched and thorough analyses. Examples include its annual statistical analysis of homeowner outcomes at Ontario’s License Appeal Tribunal for over 10 years, and evidence of the lack of enforcement of the Ontario Building Code during construction.

While CPBH’s work is far from complete, here are some notable successes to date: – CPBH hears regularly from Canadian consumers, as well as some in the construction industry, that CPBH’s work is important and necessary.

  • CPBH has gained the support of Canada’s Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) industry in trying to raise the bar for HVAC in Canada.
  • CPBH volunteers have appeared on television, for instance, CTV’s W-Five on multiple occasions, as well as a variety of appearances on television news broadcasts on CBC and CTV, TVO and radio talk show programs such as Peter Warren’s program from Victoria, BC, and Peter Silverman’s program in Toronto, ON.
  • Articles written by CPBH volunteers have been published in national magazines such as The Canadian Home Inspector and Real Estate Marketing.
  • CPBH was asked to provide a chapter on buying a newly built home by Toronto Star journalist Ellen Roseman for her book Fight Back: 81 Ways to Help You Save Money and Protect Yourself from Corporate Trickery. http://www.ellenroseman.com/products/1379/Fight-Back-81-Ways-to-Help-You-Save-Money-and-Protect-Yourself.htm
  • Numerous newspaper articles have referenced the work of CPBH, including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun and the Ottawa Citizen.  – A number of different organizations from the public, private and not for profit sectors seek  input from CPBH as new legislation and government programs are developed.
  • CPBH earned “partner” status with Industry Canada’s Consumer Information Gateway.
  • CPBH is included in the Government of Canada’s Canadian Consumer Handbook as a reference for more information about buying a newly built home: http://www.consumerhandbook.ca/en/topics/housing/housing#related
  • The Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario began to monitor complaints relating to new home ownership after CPBH presented a detailed submission to the Ombudsman in March 2007.  This led to the Ombudsman Ontario’s report: “Building Clarity:  Investigation into how the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services represents its relationship with the Tarion Warranty Corporation to the public”.
  • Many, including some at Queen’s Park, have suggested that if it hadn’t been for CPBH’s efforts, the Tarion Review, headed by the Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham Q.C., would never have been called by the Ontario Government in 2015. CPBH provided considerable input to the Tarion Review, and was very pleased with Justice Cunningham’s 37 recommendations.
  • CPBH worked with the Shuman family to establish the Dr. Earl Shuman Memorial Fund at Ryerson University. https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/DonationPage.aspx?eventid=222726&langpref=en-CA&Referrer=https%3a%2f%2fca.search.yahoo.com%2f
  • CPBH volunteers have communicated directly with thousands of Canadian homeowners since CPBH was founded.
  • CPBH is supported by a volunteer Advisory Council who provide expertise from a wide range of fields and professions.
  • CPBH volunteers work directly with homeowners who have come to CPBH for suggestions on how to get their newly built home construction defects – typically Code violations – resolved. We have been told by countless homeowners that we have helped them, which is so gratifying.

A financial, mental, medical and emotional crisis

“CPBH has helped my family navigate a broken home warranty process. Our newly built home had multiple OBC violations, mould and air borne mould. Our daughter had become asthmatic and required numerous medications to manage. Due to these serious OBC violations, we had racked up $140,000 in debt with lawyers and engineers – and we were desperate. Then CPBH got involved – sat with us, listened, advocated to MPPs, and directed us to various sources to push for movement and supported us through our new home crisis.

Without CPBH I don’t think our home would have been repaired as CPBH helped every step to move things forward. We could not have stayed another winter in our home. Our home has now gone through extensive repairs costing over $250,000, and we are now back in our home happy to report our daughter’s health has improved dramatically. It has been a nightmare and we didn’t have to go it alone.CPBH’s work is important as families and home owners are at the brink of losing everything, in a financial, mental, medical and emotional crisis, desperate to have home warranty issues resolved. The entire process is overwhelming and exhausts the homeowner – placing the burden of proof of OBC violations on the homeowner.

CPBH’s support and guidance are critical to help homeowners navigate a system stacked against the homeowner who did nothing wrong but to buy a home from a Tarion-approved builder. CPBH’s support and dedication made a huge impact on our lives during this very difficult time.”

Tracy Wheeler, St. Andrews, Ontario

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