HAVAN Media Release:
March 27, 2020
For immediate release
The Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) welcomes the further financial measures announced today, March 27, 2020, by the Federal Government, to help keep workers in their jobs, and small and medium-sized businesses afloat. The game-changing 75% wage subsidy, the potential of a generous and accessible $40K loan with as much as $10K forgiven, and the chance to defer GST and Income Tax remittances will provide the support and flexibility our members need at this trying time.
The construction industry continues to be listed as an essential service, and HAVAN members and industry are working together, to share resources and solutions to ensure compliance to the Guidance to construction sites operating during COVID-19, as outlined by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), to ensure work sites remain operational.
The residential construction industry generates $12.6 billion in wages in BC, with over 207,000 on site and off site jobs, one of BC’s largest employers. Keeping job sites operational at this time, will be essential to the future stability and health of our economy.
HAVAN CEO Ron Rapp said ‘the efforts our members are taking, to help keep job sites safe and operational, for the betterment of our communities, during this fluid situation with Covid-19 is admirable.’
Referencing Premier John Horgan who yesterday advised the province was exercising measures under the state of provincial emergency to stop the “patchwork” of rules across B.C…for a “uniform approach,” Rapp applauds this measure.
‘As the CEO of HAVAN’s community of 1,100+ members, I can confirm our association recognizes the value in working together, to find a uniform approach to work-site safety, during Covid-19.
Speaking with HAVAN member Trillium Projects, Goran Areveski advised ‘we are seeing our competitors come together, to share in best practices, for the betterment of the industry,’ noting Adera Development, Anthem Properties Ltd., Ledcor Group, Axiom Builders Inc, Performance Construction plus many more have been working together to develop the best practices Operation Procedures Form that includes meeting, elevator and stairwell protocols, worker health consent and verification procedures including a Worker Orientation Form to be filled out daily which specifically deal with on-site COVID safety and transmission prevention.
HAVAN member Bob Deeks, president of RDC Fine Homes Inc and Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) past Chair of the National Technical Research Committee and Co Vice Chair role for the Net Zero Housing Council confirmed ‘two of our nine sites have been shut down as they were being filmed in partnership with Mike Holmes and his crews were unable to work under the two metre distancing requirements. Our other seven sites, however, remain active,’ noting one house was completing today. Under the current guidelines, RDC allows only one trade on site, rotating regular staff between sites to facilitate the new distancing requirements. RDC, is also in discussions with staff, exploring the possibility of a flexible work week, from Monday through Saturday, to allow staff to retain full-time hours, should they have to vacate a site to allow a trade to work due to the new distancing requirements.
Ron advised ‘Our members are compliant with Work Safe BC and in being so, have responded and adopted the Provincial Health Officer’s rules of operation, in many cases exceeding them. Our members, as industry leaders, look to raise the bar. We are used to implementing best practices, sharing of resources, and understand compliance.’
Rapp continued, ‘If there is an outlying company not complying, WorkSafe BC should treat this as a violation, and use their rules of enforcement. HAVAN continues to advise industry, if you are unable to meet the provincial guidelines, as some of our members have already self-assessed, please take their lead and shut your site(s) down, for the security and safety of the entire industry. We applaud our members, and industry for taking these steps for the better of the greater community.
The Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN), over eleven hundred members strong, is recognized as leaders in the homebuilding industry, since 1974. Our members include builders, developers, renovators, designers, suppliers, sub-trades and leading professionals. We are an association of knowledgeable, trusted, resourceful and local professionals who build over 65% of Metro Vancouver’s homes.
HAVAN provides both industry and consumer education, and actively liaises with local municipal governments with the focus of meeting Metro Vancouver’s housing needs. A not-for-profit association, HAVAN is proudly affiliated with both the provincial CHBA BC, and national CHBA offices.