Goals include improving land development approval process and expanding association’s membership
Ottawa Construction News staff writer
Pierre Dufresne, the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association’s (GOHBA), new president brings 20 years of experience with the association(including several years on the board of directors) to his leadership role.
“There are a number of things we’ve been working on the past few years and that will continue as our focus heading into the coming year,” says Dufresne, Tartan Land Corporation’s vice-president of land development.
City hall issues will continue to be a priority, including getting approvals for land development and maintaining affordability. “We’re seeing a lot of smaller businesses looking outside the city for lot supplies, in part due to the supply and consumer demand, but also because tariffs and fees are cheaper.”
He said the association will raise the issue of the land development approval process during the city’s upcoming official plan review. The GOHBA has commissioned its own studies and will work hard to communicate the industry’s concerns and needs.
As well, Dufresne will advocate and encourage businesses to join the association to increase its strength in numbers. “We have builders encouraging their trades to join. That keeps the association strong and shows support for the industry,” he said. “The past few years we’ve seen members put aside competition and join together to develop common positions to improve conditions on job sites, at city hall and in how they deal with other agencies. That kind of top-down team effort strengthens everyone’s voice and presence.”
Dufresne says events like the upcoming human resources day at Algonquin College are key to attracting young people and showing them the opportunities the industry offers. “There is a push to replenish trades and this kind of positive industry promotion and partnering with some of the key educational institutions in the city, goes a long way.”
Dufresne adds he looks forward to continuing his participation with the association and is