New Home Construction Regulatory Authority Launches Operations Today

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 1st, 2021



A new Ontario regulator, improving protection for new home buyers, starts operations today. The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) is now responsible for regulating and licensing the people and companies who build and sell new homes in the province.

The Village isn't completely built out yet - there are still pockets of construction taking place. Still room for new people.

The Village isn’t completely built out yet – there are still pockets of construction taking place. Still room for new people.

“The HCRA will enforce high professional standards for competence and conduct in the homebuilding industry, giving new home buyers confidence in one of the biggest purchases of their lives,” said Tim Hadwen, Interim CEO of the HCRA. “We will also ensure consistency across the sector, curtailing unethical and illegal builders and maintaining a fair marketplace.”

In addition to licensing, the HCRA provides educational information for consumers on their home buying journey, and manages the Ontario Builder Directory (OBD) – the official source of background information about each of Ontario’s more than 5,000 new home builders and vendors. The OBD provides current information on each builder and vendor’s licence status and specifics such as whether they have had any convictions, the number of homes they have built, and their warranty history. It also lists illegal builders and provides details about charges and convictions to better inform and protect consumers.

The HCRA is also implementing a streamlined complaints process, providing a clear, straightforward way for a new home buyer to raise real concerns about a builder or vendor’s conduct.

Community residents have held up the construction of these homes as they fight a city decision to change the zoning on six properties.

New regulatory agency to support home buyers who run into problems. These prices have not been seen in Burlington for some time.

An independent regulator, the HCRA takes over the licensing function from Tarion. Previously, Tarion was responsible for both licensing and warranty administration. Tarion will continue to deliver Ontario’s new home warranty and protection program.

A separate licensing body was recommended by a major review of Ontario’s homebuilding sector.

“In essence, the HCRA will ensure professional standards for the builder, and Tarion will backstop responsibility for the building,” Hadwen said.

Recognizing that some consumers and builders may not immediately know where to turn, the HCRA and Tarion are committed to a “no wrong door” approach, seamlessly directing stakeholders to the right place to deal with their specific issues.


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2 comments to New Home Construction Regulatory Authority Launches Operations Today

  • Karen Somerville

    Thank you for reporting on the opening of HCRA. The legislation for this was passed in 2017 and it took more than three years for the doors to finally open. While HCRA has made many lofty promises, it is off to a dubious start unfortunately.

    As one key indicator, the builder directory is still very misleading in many cases. The builder directory has been a well-known problem with Tarion for decades – and sadly it is continuing with HCRA it seems.

    Another indicator – HCRA’s CEO has repeatedly refused to disclose how many former Tarion employees now work at HRA – but he said that HCRA will be transparent. Why is the number of former Tarion employees now working at HCRA a secret?

    As one final indicator here, in the HCRA mission it says “…building better homes…” Better than what? How will they measure this? No one seems to know.

    Sadly none of this bodes well for consumer protection…and it doesn’t build confidence or trust. Some refer to HCRA as “Tarion-2”. We obviously hope this is incorrect. Ontario’s purchasers of newly built homes need – and deserve – adequate consumer protection.

  • Hans Jacobs

    Re: “A separate licensing body was recommended…” – just what is needed, another organization with a CEO, staff, etc.