Local man to head housing regulation firm

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An Ottawa lawyer has been elected chair of the board of directors of the province's private housing construction regulator.

Christopher Spiteri becomes the first locally based chair of Tarion Warranty Corporation since its founding chair Ernest W. Assaly finished his term in 1988.

“This is good for Ottawa and good for new home buyers,” Mr. Spiteri wrote in an e-mail. “I will be focusing on some major consumer issues during the mandate.”

The new chair says he wants to expand Tarion’s warranty program to cover condo conversions and will be “working with the provincial government and municipal governments to improve consumer protection against Illegal builders.”

He says he’s also concerned about rising municipal development charges and their impact on affordability.

Mr. Spiteri, who practises business and real estate law and is a partner at Spiteri & Ursulak, said he is only the second non-builder to chair the board of the organization.

Another Ottawa resident, Cardel Homes president Greg Graham, has joined the board of Tarion, which has a government-issued monopoly on warranties covering new condos and houses in Ontario. It also licenses housing construction companies.

The private company’s board of directors includes eight members from the building industry and eight non-builders, five of whom are appointed by Ontario’s minister of consumer services.