Consumers Council of Canada is convening a special panel to examine the challenges consumers of higher-density housing face in exercising their consumer rights and responsibilities.
“Whole new communities, and services to support them, are being created at a dizzying pace,” said Council Executive Director Ken Whitehurst. “People are rapidly moving into building complexes in some cases with populations the size of whole municipalities.”
Urban planning and public policy decisions, changing demographics, housing market conditions and marketing methods have led growing numbers of people to choose higher density housing.
The very idea of ‘home’ is being redefined for many Canadians.
“Planning targets, construction systems, building codes and methods, home construction and inspection regulation, and laws governing condominium and rental accommodations are changing,” Whitehurst said. “Consumers need informed representation to protect them.”
To assist the panel as it starts its work, the Council has released a Consumers Council of Canada Consumer Perspective 360° Report, Residential Intensification: Density and its Discontents.
Stakeholder registration and an opportunity to download the report are available through the Council’s website at: http://www.consumerscouncil.com/housing-intensification-panel/
The purpose of this initiative is to:
- Work with Canadian consumers, consumer groups and stakeholders of the residential construction industry to consider the implications of the intensification of residential housing for consumer rights and responsibilities.
- Develop well-informed Canadian consumer representation, better prepared to seek improvements in legislation, regulatory enforcement and business practices concerning the subject area.
- Create a better informed public, media, elected officials, civil servants and businesses concerning consumer issues in the subject area.
- Assist in identifying areas of required research, consultation and advocacy concerning the subject area.
The Council acknowledges the support of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) for this initiative. It is pleased Ontario builders have recognized the benefit of learning more about how consumers are being affected.
“Urban Planning and the built environment as we knew it has been undergoing radical transformative change in the past decade relative to both demand and supply,” said RESCON President Richard Lyall. “RESCON recognizes that the rapid growth of higher density communities creates additional complexities which effect building affordability, design & performance.
“This necessitates greater consumer representation and examination of the many underlying factors influencing residential construction trends. As such, RESCON welcomes and supports the Council’s initiative.”
The panel’s final report will:
- Describe stakeholder participants
- Define identified issues and possible solutions
- Depict key issues identified for panel discussion
- Document recommendations of the Panel
- Present panel outcomes vs. Consumer Rights matrix
- Provide a gap analysis of issues and ideas requiring future examination
- Develop a bibliography related to the subject matter
The non-profit Consumers Council of Canada works collaboratively with consumers, business and government in support of consumers’ rights and responsibilities, seeking an efficient, equitable, effective and safe marketplace for consumers.
RESCON is a construction employer association that represents residential builders in Ontario. RESCON represents builders concerning human resources, building code and technical issues, innovations in construction practices and methods, health and safety, training and education and market housing affordability and land supply issues.