Boosting home buyer confidence
The province is seeking input on a builder licensing program to strengthen consumer protection in residential home construction.
Right now, there are no specific qualifications governing residential builders in Alberta. Licensing would affect builders in a way a new home warranty cannot. It would ensure home buyers know that a home is built by a company that is knowledgeable in home-construction and financially viable, minimizing potential risks to the homeowner.
“Building or renovating a home is one of the biggest financial decisions any family will make. Albertans deserve to be protected and to know that their construction is being done to a high standard. We want to hear from all Albertans about ways we can improve the system and increase their confidence.”
Builder licensing would require builders to show they are in good financial standing and have the skills to work in residential home construction. Combined with mandatory home warranties, builder licensing would improve builder accountability and the quality of residential construction.
“CHBA - Alberta welcomes the opportunity to work in collaboration with Government and other stakeholders to develop a Builder Licensing program. CHBA - Alberta has long advocated for consumer protection requiring its members to carry third party warranties years before the mandatory warranty legislation was enacted. We will continue working hard to raise the bar ensuring Albertans have access to safe, affordable and innovative housing.”
Albertans are invited to share their home construction and renovation experiences in an online survey. Focus groups that include homeowners, builders, renovators, warranty providers, architects, engineers and municipalities are also being held to gather feedback on a potential program.
The enhanced builder information program, launched in June 2016 to support home reconstruction in Fort McMurray, provided the foundation for builder licensing in Alberta. It requires builders to complete a builder declaration through the New Home Buyer Registry before applying for a building permit. All declarations are posted online to help consumers make a more informed decision when choosing a builder.
The survey is open until March 14 and focus groups will be held throughout February and March. The government will then compile the feedback and post a What We Heard Document. Any legislative amendments to implement builder licensing would be done under the New Home Buyer Protection Act.