March 4, 1949

WELCOME TO MEMBER FOR WATERLOO SOUTH ON HIS RETURN AFTER SERIOUS ILLNESS

PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rodney Adamson (York Wesl):

Mr. Speaker, the house frequently takes time to pay tribute to one of its members who has died. This day I should like to pay tribute to one of its members who has refused to die.

The presence here today of my deskmate, the hon. member for Waterloo South (Mr. Homuth), is a tribute not only to Canadian surgery, but also to a great and fighting heart.

Topic:   WELCOME TO MEMBER FOR WATERLOO SOUTH ON HIS RETURN AFTER SERIOUS ILLNESS
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HOUSING

INTEGRATED PLAN

LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Hon. Robert H. Winters (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply):

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, February 24, 1 advised the house that the integrated housing plan was under review in the hope that some modified form could be arrived at to overcome certain difficulties which had occurred in isolated cases during 1948. For reasons which I will mention, no applications for integrated housing contracts have been accepted since December 31, 1948. It has now been decided, however, to proceed with the plan, with certain changes.

The integrated housing plan was developed in 1945 to encourage builders to construct moderate-priced houses for sale to veterans. Under the plan the builder entered into an agreement with the corporation by which he agreed to build a specified number of houses of a certain type or types, and to offer them for sale to veterans at or under the maximum selling price set out in the agreement.

Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation for its part agreed to arrange priority assistance for the builder, and to purchase any house that he was unable to sell to a prospective house owner, at a price which would cover the estimated costs of construction and the cost of the land upon which it was built.

The agreement required that the builder should finance the construction of his houses by loans under the National Housing Act. Thus the plan consisted of an agreement

between the contractor and the corporation, which refers only to the sale price to the purchasers and the corporation's commitment to repurchase. On the strength of the agreement, the builder obtained the financing from lending institutions who were doing business under the National Housing Act.

More than 13,000 units have been undertaken under the plan, and almost all of those completed have been sold. We have acquired under our repurchase commitment forty-three housing units, as of the end of the year. Despite the fact that the plan has for the most part gone well, there has been adverse criticism because of the fact that some veterans -about one hundred in all-have been in danger of losing down payments made to the builder, or have had to pay higher prices than contemplated by reason of the contractor being unable to complete the house because he experienced financial difficulties. The plan is in essence a price-fixing arrangement, and there is no direct contact between the purchaser and the corporation. Nevertheless some purchasers have relied on an assumption that the agreement between the builder and the corporation would give them protection, and have not taken normal precautions in their dealings with the builders. While there is nothing in the arrangement that justifies this assumption, the government feels that it would not be prudent to proceed with the plan without taking steps to correct this situation by reducing the possibility of its recurrence and making provision for remedial action where failure does occur in the future. To accomplish this purpose I believe that contractors should not accept down payments before completion of the house, or alternatively, that down payments accepted before completion of the house and its delivery to the prospective purchaser should be trusteed. In addition a provision must be included which will permit the corporation to obtain control of the property as soon as difficulties of the kind mentioned occur, so that remedial action may be taken.

Because of the foregoing, and because it is desired to have the integrated plan proceed, the following modifications will be made:

(a) Provision will be made in the integrated agreement that sales shall not be finalized until the house is at least ninety per cent completed.

1140 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry

(b) That down payments by the purchaser shall be placed in trust immediately by the contractor until the completion of the sales transaction and the delivery of possession to the purchaser.

(c) That in support of his application for mortgage advances the builder shall produce paid bills for construction materials that have gone into the house, or lien waivers from the suppliers of such materials.

(d) That the builder shall deliver to the corporation, when the house has reached the first-floor joist stage of construction, a conveyance of the property, to be held by the corporation until a sale has been arranged to a prospective house owner, or until the property is taken over by the corporation under its commitment to purchase it from the builder. This will give the corporation effective control of the property during the period of construction.

(e) Because most builders rely upon down payments, now to be trusteed, for working capital, the corporation shall advance to the builder at the time it gets the conveyance- that is, at the first-floor joist stage of construction-the difference between the loan under the National Housing Act and the sale price to the corporation. This amounts to approximately half the down payment that will be made by the purchasers. This sum will be recovered by the corporation from the builder on sale of the property to the prospective house owner.

The arrangement which I have outlined introduces a number of new features which are restrictive to builders, and we have not yet received the reaction of the trade. Accordingly we will again review the plan as to its manner of working and in the light of the veteran demand for houses under it.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lockhart:

May I ask the minister one question? He has completely overlooked any mention of inspection.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Where is the question?

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
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PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lockhart:

Now, don't get in the mood you were in yesterday.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

The mood was on the other side, not on this side.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lockhart:

I should like to know if the matter of inspection is covered, because the minister knows that some serious things have happened in my district. Is inspection being looked after?

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

The same conditions with respect to inspection prevail.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. Johnston:

May I ask the minister a further question in that regard?-because this serious condition has prevailed for some

time. I thank the minister for the statement he has made, outlining the revision of the plan, but I should like to know whether the new arrangement will apply to buildings now under construction under the integrated plan.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

If the down payment has already been made to the contractor, this arrangement cannot be effective.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. Johnston:

Was it contemplated that assistance would be available under this housing plan where a builder should find himself in difficulty? Is any arrangement being made to protect him?

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

All these cases are under review, such as that of the Bow River Construction Company in Calgary.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
PC

Harold Aberdeen Watson Timmins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Timmins:

Will the minister state how many applications by builders have been made in connection with integrated housing since the department stopped accepting applications?

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink
LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

I cannot answer that question now.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INTEGRATED PLAN
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO MODIFICATIONS
Permalink

CAMP HILL HOSPITAL

REFERENCE TO QUESTION AS TO CONTRACT FOR ALTERATIONS TO ANNEX


On the orders of the day:


March 4, 1949