Amendments to the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 to protect purchasers of new homes
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
Update: Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 was passed by the Legislature and received Royal Assent on April 14, 2022.
Ontario is the best place to live, start a business and raise a family - but we can only build on our success if all Ontarians and their families are able to find a home that's right for them. The province's housing policies are working to get more homes built faster, but too many Ontarians still struggle to find a home. We are introducing More Homes for Everyone, that proposes targeted policies for the immediate term that make housing fairer for hard-working Ontarians and make it faster to build the homes that families need and deserve. Addressing the housing supply crisis is a long-term strategy that requires long-term commitment and co-ordination from all levels of government.
The Task Force report is our long-term housing roadmap. Similar to Ontario's approach with regular Red Tape Reduction bills, the province is committed to implementing the Task Force's recommendations with a housing supply action plan every year over four years, starting in 2022-2023, with policies and tools that support multi-generational homes and missing middle housing.
We welcome your thoughts on the following changes proposed under Bill 109, the proposed More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022, which, if passed, would help make housing fairer for hard-working Ontarians and make it faster to build the homes that families need and deserve.
The ministry is proposing amendments to the Licensing Act to help address the issue of inappropriate or unethical behaviour by vendors and to enhance the HCRA's enforcement powers, among other things. The proposed amendments include:
1. Enhancing consumer protection by giving additional tools to the HCRA, such as ensuring the registrar does not require a complaint to be received to take certain actions within subsection 56(4) of the Licensing Act;
2. Increasing the maximum amount of a fine that the Discipline Committee may impose if a licensee contravenes the Code of Ethics, from $25,000 to $50,000 for individual licensees, and $100,000 for non-individual licensees.
3. Establishing the authority for the Discipline Committee to impose an additional fine in an amount equal to the monetary benefit acquired by a licensee as a result of a breach of the Code of Ethics.
4. Clarifying the authority for the Discipline Committee to consider repeat contraventions as part of its determination when imposing fines for any type of Code of Ethics violations.
5. Increasing the maximum administrative penalty amount from $10,000 to $25,000.
6. Establishing the authority for an assessor to impose an additional administrative penalty in an amount equal to the monetary benefit acquired by a person as a result of a contravention.
7. Creating the authority for a court to impose an additional fine for a conviction in an amount equal to the monetary benefit acquired by a person as a result of an offence.
8. Clarifying that the registrar can review whether an applicant's past or ongoing conduct either is or will be in contravention of the Licensing Act and prescribed legislation.
9. Clarifying under the Licensing Act that an assessor may impose an administrative penalty if the person has contravened, or is contravening, a prescribed provision of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act or the regulations or the by-laws made under it.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The proposed legislative amendments are not expected to create a burden on the new home construction sector as builders and vendors should be adhering to the requirements and rules currently set out under the Licensing Act and its regulations. The proposed amendments are intended to deter future conduct issues and to give the HCRA the tools to better protect consumers.
There are no costs or cost savings to small businesses associated with the Ministry's proposed amendments.
The proposal is not expected to create any fiscal impacts for government since implementation would be carried out by the HCRA, an administrative authority that is financially and operationally independent from the government. The administrative authority model is expected to be cost neutral to the government.
The administrative authority's operating costs are funded from the sector through licensing and other fees.
March 30, 2022
Comments Due Date:
April 25, 2022
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, 56 Wellesley St. W., 6th Floor, Toronto ON, M7A 1C1
Update: Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 was passed by the Legislature and received Royal Assent on April 14, 2022. As such, please note that the public comment function on this posting is now closed. Please consider submitting comments directly to the Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org.