Last month at the Ontario Home Builders’ Association Annual Conference, the London Home Builders’ Association was presented with the coveted “Local of the Year” award. It was a great honour for me, along with a handful of other representatives from London, to be present to accept the award on behalf of our association.

The “Local of the Year” award is presented annually to an Ontario Home Builders’ local association that best exemplifies the spirit of community service, advocacy for our industry and commitment to industry growth. It is judged by past Ontario Home Builder Association presidents and is a prestigious award that we are very proud to have won.

The London Home Builders’ Association has a long history of hard working, dedicated members that work tirelessly on both the advocacy and community service fronts. The spirit and generosity of our members and their commitment to the many community projects undertaken over the years is unmistakable. On the advocacy front, our members and committees work with local, provincial and federal governments to ensure that housing affordability remains an attainable goal for potential new home buyers.

We are fortunate in London to have strong working relationships with municipal staff and city officials. An exciting recent development in Ontario is the acceptance of six storey wood structures in the Ontario Building Code. The City of London, in consultation with the London Home Builders’ Association, has supported this concept as it will bring a new housing alternative to the City. Six storey wood structures will mesh well with “The London Plan” in the areas of intensification and infill. At the local government level, the LHBA was able to work with municipal staff and officials to keep the development charge on new homes at a reasonable level.

On the community service front, the list of accomplishments is long and diverse. Our legacy project “The Cancer Survivors Garden” is a great example of the commitment and dedication our members have to enrich our community. The Garden, at the corner of Wonderland Road and Riverside Drive, serves not only as a place of celebration and reflection, but as a place of inspiration and hope for families grappling with cancer. The LHBA not only undertook to build the park but has committed to maintaining it for 10 years. Much of the labour and materials were generously donated by members, member companies and many other passionate people and businesses. A large portion of the funding came from the sale of the “Green Home” built by the LHBA. Again much of the labour and material was generously donated. The “Green Home” also served as an educational tool to demonstrate the latest in home building technology.

Education is also a major focus for the LHBA. Through our student ambassador program we introduce students to our industry. The goal is to encourage students to choose home building as a career choice. On November 5, 2014 in the Carousel Room at Western Fair District the LHBA will host a “Career Showcase” for students in grades 7 to 12 and their parents and teachers. This event will provide information about potential careers in the residential construction industry.

The spirit of camaraderie when a project is underway is a testament to the pride that our members take not only in our industry but in our community. A big thank you goes out to our members, partners and staff for the dedication and commitment that was instrumental in our association winning the prestigious “Local of the Year” award.

“The London Home Builders’ Association has set the bar extremely high with its extensive list of accomplishments and projects” says Joe Vaccaro, CEO of OHBA”. “LHBA is highly engaged in advocacy work in their community and the province and their members are a huge asset to our association”.

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