Building Ottawa’s Housing Future
AS HOUSING SUPPLY and affordability continue to be one of the most pressing issues on the minds of Ottawa residents, the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) and its members are stepping up to ensure that current and future residents have a variety of housing options and a reasonable opportunity to live in the type of home they want within the City.
GOHBA not only advocates for a streamlined and faster development application process and reduced government-imposed costs, it actively collaborates with City staff to address bottlenecks, find solutions and improve the system for everyone.
We work in partnership with City staff on zoning that achieves our housing goals and contributes to the enhancement of neighbourhoods across the City, because, as Mayor Sutcliffe has said, “The best way for us to create more construction is to be more constructive.”
GOHBA’s membership – Ottawa’s leading home builders, developers, renovators, contractors and professionals in the residential construction industry – has grown 25% since 2021 to over 400 companies.
This enthusiasm can best be seen in person – at our inaugural HoWL event (Home Builders of Ottawa Women Leaders), GOHBA saw over 140 women leaders in residential construction gather together to encourage leadership, support one another, learn new skills, and achieve success with guest speaker Cathy Priestman. GOHBA plans to hold HoWL events quarterly, with the next one August 31.
Membership in GOHBA is a commitment to supporting affordability, quality and choice. Membership is also a communication to the public, to the City and to colleagues – it signals that members have a role to play in improving Ottawa, contributing positively to the lifestyle of residents, and taking pride in being the voice of excellence in the home building community.
The Association’s growth is a testament to the value of participation, and the opportunity it provides members to engage in the tough conversations on how best to improve housing affordability in balance with other priorities.
GOHBA members volunteer their time to advocate for heathy and balanced municipal housing policies, and they share information and best practices from their own operations and from their colleagues across the province and the country. GOHBA also operates with its counterparts at the provincial and federal level, so when you join the Association, your voice is heard at every level of government.
GOHBA has worked heavily at the provincial stage, and saw the fruits of its labour with Bill 109, Bill 23, Bill 97 and changes to the approved Ottawa Official Plan – in particular restoring heights for minor corridors to 9 storeys for the downtown downtown transect and 6 storeys for the inner and outer urban transects.
Home builders – not the companies, but the actual human beings who work in the sales office or are skilled tradespeople on the construction site – live in every neighbourhood there is across the city. They love living in Westboro, or old Ottawa East, Barrhaven or even farther south. They appreciate the neighbourhood they are in and the lifestyle it provides, and they want as many of their fellow citizens as possible to have the opportunity to live there as well.
In order to help address the significant labour shortage facing the industry, GOHBA established the Trades Development Initiative to connect members with those seeking employment, and to promote careers in construction.
As part of our efforts to promote skilled trades we are forging partnerships with educational institutions like Algonquin College, who are the largest source of training in the Greater Ottawa area. We’re also working with organizations like the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region, who have a strong history of working with the community so that underrepresented groups can have better access to skilled trade careers.
One of the unheralded things GOHBA members do is think about the needs of future homeowners – those who’ll buy a home not only tomorrow, or in the next year or two, but five, ten, twenty years down the road.
We want to ensure that there will be a variety of homes to choose from, that they’ll be affordable, and that they will provide the range of lifestyles that the residents of Ottawa want.
Increasing the speed and affordability to build all types of homes means more choice – not only for those looking for a home of their own now (or will be in the future), but also for those of us who have a home currently but will want the ability to move at some point.
Ottawa needs to provide a range of housing and lifestyle options for residents if it wants to attract and retain talented people, businesses and economic development opportunities.
And, by advocating for more supply, reduced costs and better access to housing, GOHBA also provides a voice for future residents. It’s critical to ensure everyone has the same opportunity for housing affordability and choice – whether you purchased your home in 1983, 2003, or in 2023.