Home builders pleased some construction activities set to resume
By Jenn Watt
The provincial government's decision to permit some construction activities to resume was good news for the Haliburton County Home Builders’ Association, which issued a press release on Friday, May 1 praising the decision.
“Building new homes and communities is a long, complicated process and requires different construction activities over a number of seasons,” Keith Thomas, president of the local home builders' association said. “Losing the entire construction season for site servicing would be setting our local housing supply back, and risk the homes that our clients are looking to move into next year. Under the new provincial guidelines, we will continue to deliver homes safely today and in the future.”
As of May 4, the province is permitting work to resume in several areas, including site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development.
Those activities had previously ceased as a precaution to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
The home builders association said earthworks and site grading allow for physical distancing as each operator is in their own machine and noted that site grading is essential to every construction site.
“In addition, the decision allows for site and land-servicing projects to commence or continue
new residential, industrial, commercial and institutional developments. Underground servicing,
the installation of stormwater controls, water pipes, sanitary sewer pipes, road construction,
including curbs and sidewalk, landscape works, trails, parks and utilities (telecommunications,
water, gas, electricity, etc.) are necessary for the activation of new homes and eventual
Occupancy,” the press release states.
"We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment," Premier Doug Ford said in an announcement Friday. "While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province, we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely."
Sixty guidelines have been established to help employers reopen workplaces safely to protect workers, customers and the public, according to the government.
The home builders said the industry supports shuttering any site not respecting the Ministry of Labour’s guidelines for construction site health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We all want safe job sites,” said Joe Vaccaro, Ontario Home Builders Association CEO. “Adding these new construction activities along with new provincial COVID-19 health and safety guidelines means members will continue to focus on worker safety while delivering keys to the thousands of families waiting for their homes to be completed. We can keep each other safe while delivering housing supply across Ontario.”
Other work permitted to resume as of May 4:
Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
Lawn care and landscaping;
Additional essential construction projects that include:
shipping and logistics;
broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
colleges and universities;
child care centres;
site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
Automatic and self-serve car washes;
Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.