New home and condominium buyers in Ontario are wise to do their “homework” before signing on the dotted line. This includes knowing exactly where they stand when they purchase new. One of the many invaluable resources for pertinent information is BILD, the Building and Land Development Association. This progressive organization recently created an innovative interactive website called BuildingAnswers.ca. The association invites people to ask questions about the building and land development industry in the Greater Toronto Area – and with the amount of construction going on, there are surely questions. BILD’s commitment is to answer honestly, factually and openly.
The website has many frequently asked questions already answered, such as:
How do parks and public spaces benefit from new housing and developments?
What makes up the cost of a new home or condominium?
How does new housing and development support public infrastructure?
How is land for housing developments chosen?
Does the home building and land development industry have a code of ethics?
Are environmentally friendly homes being developed in the GTA?
What laws and regulations govern the home building and development industry?
I found one question in particular fascinating: “Do we really need all of the condominium and other housing developments being built in the GTA?”
The short answer is YES! The more detailed answer is that last year, the number of new homes and condos was about 100,000 short of what the Ontario Growth Plan set out in 2006. The Ontario Ministry of Finance estimates that by 2041, the GTA’s population will rise to 9.7 million from 6.9 million today. That amounts to about 115,000 new residents every year. We already have a housing shortage, so you get the picture.
Another thing BuildingAnswers.ca helps new home and condo buyers do is to put things into perspective. For example, provincial government policies and regulations, along with municipal governments’ city plans and bylaws, determine the pace, scale and location of development – NOT developers and homebuilders. Consumer demand plays a role as well.
The overall picture is complex. You can see why it is a challenge for developers and builders to realize their original plans. We all have to work together to ensure sufficient housing and public institutions such as schools and hospitals can handle the ongoing population rises. We also need commuting infrastructure, which is always a challenge. Industry professionals are working hard to accommodate these needs by building communities and homes, and by investing in infrastructure, transit, schools and roads.
These are just some of the questions that are answered on the website. As someone who is purchasing or thinking of purchasing, you must have questions. According to BILD, “Our goal is to provide you with accurate information on how the building and land development industry is working with residents, communities and the governments to build a livable GTA for all.”
So, make BILD one of your research resources. Remember, that’s BuildingAnswers.ca