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


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 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.

“CPBH’s work is important because improperly built homes can have a negative impact on the health of the occupants.”

– Dr. John Molot 

Over the years, the federal, provincial and municipal governments have invited CPBH to share its expertise at opportunities such as a Deputations to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Social Policy and Standing Committee on Justice 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. Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing invited CPBH to its Housing Forum.  The governments of Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia invited CPBH to provide input 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 since 2006, 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 takes pride in our volunteers working directly, and always for free, with homeowners who contact us for suggestions on how to get their newly built home construction defects – typically Building Code violations – resolved.
  • Since 2004, thousands of consumers from every demographic received CPBH’s assistance including families, single parents, first-time and experienced homeowners, immigrants, seniors, military personnel and more. These consumers, as well as some in the construction industry, tell us regularly that CPBH’s work is important and necessary.

“CPBH’s dedication to honesty and transparency is nothing less than exceptional.”

– Homeowner

  • CPBH developed a new National Housing Model Needed for Canadians – a comprehensive approach to including building quality into the rush to address the Canada’s national housing crisis. Calling for federal government leadership, the approach has received broad distribution among federal, provincial and municipal efforts. Follow up continues on this crucial initiative encapsulated here:
    • We need a new national housing model for Canadians. The model must respond to the needs of consumers, not just industry. Let’s not let a sea of non-code compliant homes flood the country, with the resulting nightmares that will produce for consumers for years to come. Let’s get to work and get it right by building to code. Canadians deserve that from their governments.
  • CPBH hears regularly from Canadian consumers, as well as some in the construction industry, that CPBH’s work is important and necessary.
  • CPBH gained the support of Canada’s Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) industry in trying to raise the bar for HVAC in Canada.

“If not for CPBH, new homeowners would suffer incalculable financial losses and emotional harm from a rigged new home warranty system….”

– Dave Myatt

  • CPBH’s Co-Founder and President, Dr. Karen Somerville, won a Woman of Inspiration Award for “integrity”. The submission to the Universal Women’s Network primarily related to Karen’s volunteer work with CPBH. Karen recognized all CPBH volunteers and accepted the honour as a CPBH team award.
  • CPBH was invited 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.
  • 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.
  • The Government of Canada’s Canadian Consumer Handbook included a reference to CPBH for more information about buying a newly built home:


 “Thank you for taking on such important work…As the daughter of a retired contractor who sat on new home warranty tribunals and was often hired to fix such damage, I know this problem is very real.

– Dr. Lisa Watson, Dean, Faculty of Business, Athabasca University, Alberta

  • 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 the late 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.
  • Numerous newspaper articles have referenced the work of CPBH, including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun and the Ottawa Citizen.
  • 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”.


“If it were not for CPBH, my home would never have been repaired. We would have been more psychologically and physically damaged. They literally saved my life.”

– C.B. 

  • 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 provided extensive input to the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario’s Value-for-Money audit of the Tarion Warranty Corporation. CPBH also facilitated many homeowners providing access to the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario to their Tarion files. This audit led to another scathing review of Tarion in 2019.
  • CPBH worked with the Shuman family to establish the Dr. Earl Shuman Memorial Fund for Health Journalism at the University of Toronto.,a%20focus%20on%20public%20health%20and%20related%20cross-disciplines .
  • CPBH is supported by a volunteer Advisory Council who provide expertise from a wide range of fields and professions.

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