Sep 19 - One voice: Development and building industry associations merge

September 25, 2006

September 19, 2006

One voice for one industry
Development and building industry associations merge

TORONTO - The Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association and the Urban Development Institute/Ontario have formally merged in order to raise a stronger and more unified voice on behalf of land developers, home builders and home buyers throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Representing more than 1,500 builders, developers and related companies, GTHBA-UDI will apply its combined resources to ensure that the interests of the residential development industry are heard loud and clear on Parliament Hill, at Queen's Park, and in city and town halls throughout the GTA.

"No industry is more affected by government regulations and policy decisions than land development and new home construction," says Desi Auciello, head of the combined body and former president of the home builders' association. "And few industries are more important to the local economy and the future well being of the GTA."

"Residential development in the GTA is the engine that drives the provincial economy," echoes Mark Tutton, former chair of the developers' group. "Only by combining forces and raising a clear voice for the interests of the industry can we ensure it continues to thrive to the benefit of all Ontarians."

Residential construction in the GTA is responsible for more than 171,000 well paying jobs in new home construction and housing renovation. The $12 billion industry contributes billions in tax revenue to federal, provincial and municipal governments annually.

And yet, Auciello notes, the price tag on every new home in the GTA is directly and significantly impacted by government decisions at every level, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. The new organization aims to make sure that decision-makers understand the full consequences of their actions and that the interests of home buyers are raised before it's too late.

"Neither the continued success of our industry nor the abundant public benefits that flow from plentiful jobs and substantial taxes can be sustained if new home sales fall because people are forced out of the market due to additional costs," adds Tutton.

Stephen Dupuis, CEO of the combined organization, adds that the merger will reinvigorate its members to rise to the challenges raised by changing consumer expectations and government regulation, and to build on the exclusive strengths of the predecessor organizations.

The GTHBA has been the voice of residential construction for more than 85 years. UDI has addressed development issues for more than 45 years.  The memberships of the individual associations voted unanimously last week to merge effective October 2.

GTHBA-UDI - an interim name for the new organization - is comprised of residential and non-residential land developers, home builders, professional renovation contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, service, professional and financial firms. The association proudly maintains its affiliations with the Ontario and the Canadian home builders' associations.

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For more information:

Suzanna Cohen
Director of Communications

Stephen Dupuis
Executive Vice President