2 PAUL GOLINI
Women play key role in building our association
are some women in our association that have worked hard over the last year to raise the profile of women in construction. It occurred to me as I was watching a year-in-review special and reading through countdown lists over the holidays that BILD could really put its own together list. I mentioned this in conversation earlier this week with Sandra Baldwin, owner of A. Lifetime Contractor, and I think she put it best: "BILD nurtures women who want to jump into the ring." INDUSTRY LEADERS Sandra is the only woman on the BILD executive, but she is joined by five other women, who are also leaders in the industry, on the Association's Board of Directors. She has appeared on Rogers Television to talk about home renovations and is currently the Chair of the Renovators Council for the Ontario Home Builders' Association. Her company has also been recognized with awards from the local, Ontario and Canadian home builders' association levels. Speaking of awards, the first woman inducted into BILD's Hall of Fame is Mary Lawson, who has been breaking through glass ceilings for decades. Mary is the general manager of Dalerose Country, a custom builder, and was the first woman president of the Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association (now known as BILD) and the Canadian Home Builders' Association. The only other woman president of BILD was Julie Di Lorenzo, partner of Diamante Developments, who led the Association in 2005. NEW MEMBERS ENCOURAGED In 2006, two associations merged to become what is now BILD and one of them was the Urban Development Institute (UDI). Lucy Stocco, Executive Vice President of Tribute Communities, was the Chair of UDI from 1994 to 1996 and has served on the founding BILD Board of Directors. In 2010, BILD and the Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC) established a partnership, due in large part to BILD member and CAWIC President Tammy Evans, who is a development lawyer with Blaney McMurtry LLP. Tammy recognized that the two associations had a lot in common: both support the future leaders of the industry with targeted student bursaries; both provide career and networking opportunities; and both encourage their members to fundraise for Habitat for Humanity. In its seventh year of independent operation, CAWIC will hold its second membership drive at the end of the month at BILD headquarters and Sandra has been asked to address the group. INCREASING AWARENESS The last drive drew out 50 women from all facets of the industry and Tammy tells me that membership grows consistently every month. I think that speaks to the increased awareness around the impact women continue to make on the construction industry in the GTA. Once I started thinking about all of the women making an impact within the Association through their advocacy work, by taking on leadership roles, or mentoring our up-and-coming leaders, the list got longer and longer. Now that's something for our association and our industry to be proud of. Paul Golini Jr. is Chair of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and can be found on Twitter (twitter.com/bildgta), Facebook (facebook.com/bildgta), Youtube (youtube.com/bildgta) and BILD's official online blog (bildblogs.ca). PUBLISHED BY THE TORONTO SUN 333 KING STREET EAST, TORONTO, ONT., M5A 3X5 VICE PRESIDENT, ADVERTISING DARREN MURPHY SENIOR DIRECTOR, ADVERTISING BILL BRATT 416-947-2466 ADVERTISING CARRIE CAHILL, DONNA SMITH 416-947-2063 The Toronto SunThe Toronto FRIDAY,JANUARY13 Sun n FRIDAY, JAnuARY TO SUNDAY,JANUARY15, 13, & SunDAY, JAnuARY2011 15 2012
Housing starts remain strong
starts in urban Ontario in 2011 were up by nearly 14% over 2010 - and are likely to top 67,400 which is a substantial increase from 60,433 housing starts in 2010, reports the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The strong close to the year was led by the multi-unit sector which more than doubled last year's numbers, led by the record pace of condominium sales in the GTA over the last 12 to 18 months. "The new housing market in Ontario has become defined by a buoyant high-rise condominium sectorand a weaker housing market outside the GTA due to widespread economic uncertainty," said Doug Tarry, president of the Ontario Home Builders' Association. For 2012, CMHC is forecasting a modest decline to 62,400 housing starts. Tarry suggested that in the next few months "we are anticipating the housing market to level out to a slightly more moderate pace of activity," adding "builders remain cautious and are prepared for a subdued year in 2012 in terms of economic performance as there still is a lot of uncertainty regarding consumer debt, exports and the global financial environment. Simply put, if people are uncertain about their employment, they are less likely to buy a new home." The Ontario Home Builders' Association is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario representing EDITOR MARTIN SLOFSTRA, E-MAIL: MARTIN.SLOFSTRA@SUNMEDIA.CA GRAPHIC DESIGNER MEGAN BECHTEL 4,000 member companies organized into 29 local associations across the province.
Immigrants face housing hurdles
Canadians are making their numbers felt in the housing market - either as they make the transition from renter to owner or by purchasing their first homes - but for these new Canadians, first-time home ownership may prove harder than anticipated, says a mortgage brokerage firm. Over 280,000 new immigrants arrived in Canada in 2010, the highest amount in 50 years, according to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. But while expected to play a large role in the housing market, new immigrants may have trouble establishing credit because they do not have a financial history in Canada. "Without a credit history, it can be a struggle to get mortgage financing," says John Filice of Invis, one of Canada's largest mortgage brokerage firms. "It is important to start establishing credit soon after arrival in Canada. I also encourage new immigrants to bring credit and bank references (preferably in English) with them from their home country to help with developing a Canadian credit profile." The good news is that things are changing. More and more lenders in Canada are offering mortgages tailored to the needs of new immigrants, and in many cases, immigrants can get a mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5% of the value of the property. Also, mortgage brokers can streamline the mortgage process for new immigrants, says Filice, by offering services such as credit counseling and obtaining credit references.