Last week was Family Day with no MMB, and the week prior I was away in Banff, Alberta, attending CHBA National Home Building Week 2023, from Sunday, February 12, to Thursday, February 16.
The first three days revolved around Association meetings and included Net Zero Council, Adaptiv Home Council, Technical Research Committee, Urban Council, Executive Officers Council, Renovators Council, Modular Construction Council, Executive Council, and CHBA Board of Directors. This was followed by two days of conference sessions and culminated with the CHBA National Housing Awards on Thursday evening.
The scope of material and topics covered in the council and committee meetings are too broad to address here, and attending every meeting was also not possible, but members are encouraged to visit the CHBA Committees and Council webpage and review the materials posted under the pull down for each council. Here are some highlights:
Reno Council saw the unveiling of a new website for RenoMark, administered by BILD-GTA. There are some significant changes and renovator members signed onto RenoMark are invited to visit the site to review the changes that are intended to be more user friendly.
CHBA Municipal Benchmark Study
Urban Council saw a presentation from the Edmonton representatives on the initiatives and actions undertaken that influenced that city’s number one ranking in the CHBA Municipal Benchmarking Study released in January. The underlying theme presented was that regulatory authorities and industry have chosen to work collaboratively to address the “housing crisis” and adopted the culture to find “the means to make things work.” This spirit of cooperation also contributed to Calgary ranking number three and reflected the province joining the effort to streamline and expedite housing files to close the supply gap.
National efforts on government relations were addressed including securing a Supreme Court decision declaring that municipalities/provinces cannot arbitrarily expropriate private property held by developers (or other private owners) to contribute to expanding park spaces or any other municipal benefit.
National is also working with CMHC and the Ministry of Finance to clarify, exempt, or reverse the prohibition of developers acquiring land for development purposes if their direct or indirect foreign ownership exceeds 3% under the newly enacted legislation on Foreign Ownership.
Member Resources and Data Management
Executive Officers Council heard about efforts to coordinate member information and data management and it appears that other larger locals and National may adopt the Growth Zone CRM that HAVAN and all other BC HBA’s have adopted. After an extensive review by BC locals, Growth Zone was chosen as the best option to allow real time vertical integration of member information and provides the tools to manage data and make it available in an accessible and flexible platform that can adapt to changing needs. We encourage members to access the “HAVAN HUB” to see available resources, and all members should sign in to ensure their information is accurate and updated.
Annual Elections and Dues
The Board of Directors/Annual Members Meeting saw the transition from National President Miles Kohan, from Edmonton, Alberta, to incoming president Sue Wastell, from London, Ontario, and filling out of the executive with BC represented by Matt McCurrah, from Kamloops. More can be found at CHBA.ca.
Approved at the Board meeting was an annual adjustment of National dues to keep pace with inflationary pressure and avoid significant adjustments to “catch up”. The approved adjustment is pegged at 2% in line with Bank of Canada inflation targets and will reflect $7.00 when it becomes effective in November of this year.
The conference sessions included Justin Kingsley, speaking on marketing and messaging, the inaugural CHBA presidential address, and the State of the Association from CEO, Kevin Lee, plus a session presented by Avid Ratings Canada, and a session with Nik Nanos, principal of the Ipso Nanos research and polling, discussing the moods and trends within the electorate at the federal level. Spoiler alert: the Federal Liberals and Conservatives are effectively tied at the moment. A session also spoke to the economic outlook for 2023 – recession maybe yes, maybe no, and the Association Leadership Awards that saw two BC locals being honoured, Rose Choy, CHBA-OC Executive Officer of the Year, and Kerriann Coady, CHBA-VI, Best in Community Service.
National Awards for Housing Excellence
The Home Building Week concluded with the National Awards for Housing Excellence presented at a black tie gala with over 350 members in attendance presided over by Kevin Lee, and in a generous gesture, the five most recent National presidents Stephanie Coleman, John Mienen, HAVAN’s Larry Clay, outgoing president Miles Kohan, and incoming president Sue Wastell. All those preceding Sue had their terms disrupted by Covid 19 to a lesser or greater degree and were denied the opportunity to interact directly with members, so having them preside over these presentations recognized their contributions through challenging times.
HAVAN members brought home 12 coveted “Bird and Stone” awards in 48 categories chosen from over 800 entries. Some members won multiple awards and HAVAN congratulates all the Finalists and Winners on their outstanding accomplishments. We look forward to our HAVAN Finalists Reveal on March 9 at the Hollywood Theater, and the HAVAN Awards Gala on April 22, 2023.
HAVAN continues to work with CHBA BC and CHBA to advocate for all levels of government to work together to address the challenges of the housing industry including zoning restrictions, density limits, and NIMBYism.
Looking to stay up-to-date on Metro Vancouver’s residential housing industry? Sign up for Ron’s weekly Monday Morning Briefing and other HAVAN emails here.