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Certified-Aging-in-Place Specialist program

Get certified – The CHBA’s Canadian Certified-Aging-in-Place Specialist program is launching soon

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Get certified – The CHBA’s Canadian Certified-Aging-in-Place Specialist program is launching soon

Numbers don’t lie, and the story that the figures from Statistics Canada tell us is that we have a rapidly aging population. Of course, individual Canadians aren’t getting older any faster. But, as the huge cohort of Baby Boomers ages, the number of us considered to be seniors is growing at an unprecedented rate. In fact, there are now more Canadians aged 65 and older than there are who are 14 or younger (see chart).

There are many healthcare and social issues related to an aging population, and one of the biggest is how to safely shelter elderly people who may have mobility, vision, and cognitive impairments. Yet, when surveyed, most older Canadians want to stay in their current homes in familiar surroundings for as long as possible.

That’s why the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) has been busy getting a Canadian version of the Certified-Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program off the ground. Originally developed by the U.S. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), CHBA has modified the U.S. program to meet Canadian requirements, calling it C-CAPS.

To qualify as a C-CAPS expert, participating renovators and homebuilders will start with a self-guided online course that takes about six hours to complete. At the end, there’s a test. That’s to be followed by a two-day in-class program, that also includes a test.

A large part of the program is understanding the various stakeholders involved in properly modifying a home to meet the owner’s current and potential needs. Key among those are the occupational therapists (OTs) that work directly with homeowners to understand their current and future needs. Others may include architects, designers, and municipal building and healthcare officials. To be done properly, aging-in-place modifications require collaboration among all parties, and contractors will have to be able to manage the various needs and requests, while providing homeowners with viable and cost-effective options.

The program will include information on the various grants and loan programs offered by product manufacturers and the various levels of government that can help make these renovations affordable for people on fixed incomes.

Once completed, C-CAPS certification can be used as a marketing tool to set renovators apart from their jack-of-all-trades competitors. To support that, CHBA will launch both a training and marketing site for renovators, and a separate site for consumers so they understand the value of hiring a certified C-CAPS specialist.

The “Canadianization” of the programs content has primarily included replacing U.S. housing and demographic stats and government contacts with Canadian ones. The home modifications needed for specific health conditions are the based on the client and the home, which means the same modifications would be done in both countries. CHBA is running three pilot sessions to test and modify the course material as needed. The association expects to have the program fully operational by spring 2020.

Freelance writer ALLAN BRITNELL is the managing editor of Renovation Contractor, and the editor of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s members’ magazine, Building Excellence, both produced by the Homes Publishing Group.


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Losani HHHBA Hall of Fame

Losani Homes principals inducted into HHHBA Hall of Fame

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Losani Homes principals inducted into HHHBA Hall of Fame

 

Losani HHHBA Hall of Fame
Fred (left) and Lino Losani (right) celebrate their HHHBA Hall of Fame induction with parents Giovanni and Maria Losani. Photo: HHHBA

Losani Homes’ CEO Fred Losani and President Lino Losani have been inducted to the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders Association (HHHBA) Hall of Fame, joining their Father Giovanni Losani, who was inducted in 2006. These awards recognize HHHBA members who have made outstanding and lasting contributions to the organization and to the home building industry.

Lino Losani

Lino Losani immigrated to Canada in 1960 with his parents, Giovanni and Maria and six-month-old sister Elena. The family settled in the north end of Hamilton, where Fred and Julie were born.  In 1972, Lino joined his father and together they navigated the waters of residential construction.  Losani Homes was established in 1976.

Lino’s two sons, John-Anthony and Justin, inherited their father’s work ethic and areactively involved in the business. John-Anthonycurrently holds an executive seat on the HHHBA Board of Directors while Justin, like his father, works in the field.  Lino’s youngest sister Julie Losani is responsible for new home closings where she also welcomes each new owner with the keys to their new home.

Fred Losani

Fred Losani became a company partner in 1985, and over the years has received on behalf of the company, many awards.  He served as HHHBA president in 1994, received HHHBA’s President’s Award of Meritand most recently, the Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Medalfor Community Service.

In the 1980s, while Giovanni and Lino focused on residential homebuilding and Elena overseeing the company’s administration, Fred focused on land development and founded F. Losani Developments, a subsidiary of Losani Homes. The company rapidly grew to become one of southern Ontario’s largest builders and land developers.

With Giovanni’s retirement in 1998, Lino and Fred established Losani Homes Inc. – the homebuilding company that solidifies more than 40 years of homebuilding excellence, quality and craftsmanship.

Together, the company has received more than 120 sales, marketing and design awards, five Community of the Year awards, five humanitarian awards and three environmental awards, locally, nationally and internationally. Although homebuilding is their primary concentration, their desire to give back to the community is paramount. Through charitable events such as the annual Toy and Turkey Drive, the Losani Family Foundation has helped raise millions of dollars for local charities alongside its many partners and associates, many of whom have been associated with the company since inception.

In recent years, the Losani Family Foundation partnered with WE (formally Free the Children) to create tangible change both locally and abroad.  As well as becoming a major sponsor of the WE Global Learning Centre, the company has brought clean water, education, schools, and a sustainable income model to Western Kenya and India. While the village of Los Rios tucked away deep in the Amazon basin was the beneficiary of several BILDnew classrooms as well as a state-of-the-art medical facility, named after Maria and Giovanni Losani.

The charitable work of Losani Homes and the Losani Family Foundation has also received the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Golden Horseshoe Philanthropic Company of the Year, the Gold Award for Building Community Spiritfrom the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and BILD’s Stephen Dupuis Humanitarian of the Year.

The Losani family acknowledges its employee and trades workers, integral to the company’s success. Says Fred, “Our dad, even in his well-deserved retirement, still visits our various new-home sites with thermos’ of espresso and homemade treats made by our mom, to hand out to the team, because it is all about family.”

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Losani Homes one of Canada’s best-managed companies

In Conversation With: Fred Losani

 

 

 

 

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Home Realty: Housing Should Be An Election Issue

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Home Realty: Housing Should Be An Election Issue

Proactive buyers can improve housing market conditions by voting for change

For buyers in search of somewhere to call home, the GTA real estate market can seem like a daunting place. In January, sales of new single-family homes in the GTA — including detached, link, semi-detached and townhouses — hit the lowest level for that month in almost 20 years, representing just 365 units out of the 1,251 total new homes sold in the first month of 2018, according to Altus Group.

Demand for single-family homes remains strong, but the number of units available on the market has been severely limited, largely as a result of provincial government policies that have constricted the supply of land that new homes can be built on. This has caused prices to soar. In January, the benchmark price for available new single-family homes rose 20 per cent compared to the same month in 2017, to $1.2 million.

The situation has forced buyers to look to the condo market, with apartments in lowrise, midrise and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units accounting for 71 per cent of new home sales, with 886 units sold. But buyers turning to the condo market for pricing relief aren’t faring much better. The benchmark price for condos in the first month of the year was up 41 per cent over January 2017 — to $714,430 — according to Altus Group.

The GTA is expected to grow to nearly 10 million people by 2041, and our provincial government needs to do more to increase housing supply, whether it’s simplifying approval processes, updating zoning by-laws or servicing developable land to bring more homes to the market.

It’s not just provincial politicians who are responsible for the issues currently facing the GTA housing market, however. Municipal governments have added to housing affordability challenges, particularly in Toronto, where home purchasers are hit with a double land transfer tax. On top of this, development charges paid by builders to municipalities continue to rise, and these increased costs are passed down to those purchasing homes, further worsening affordability.

And the federal government’s recent introduction of more stringent mortgage stress test requirement will make it more difficult for first-time buyers, seniors and average GTA residents to qualify for the amount of mortgage that they could have previously afforded.

All of this is contributing to a housing market that is far from fair for all, a place where soon only those with gobs of money will be able to participate.

But members of the public can play an important role in shaping the future of the housing market by being proactive. That is, by voting for candidates who support efforts to increase housing supply, and by not supporting politicians who pander to NIMBYs in their ridings.

There’s no better time than now for the public to be proactive. A provincial election is coming up in June, followed by municipal elections in October, and the next federal election is slated for 2019. All of these represent excellent opportunities for residents and aspiring homebuyers to make a big difference in determining the future of our housing market. So get out there and vote — use your ballot to tell politicians that things must change.

Debbie Cosic, CEO and founder of In2ition Realty, has worked in all facets of the real estate industry for over 25 years. She has sold and overseen the sale of over $15 billion worth of real estate and, with Debbie at the helm, In2ition has become one of the fastest-growing and most innovative new home and condo sales companies. In2ition has received numerous awards from the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the National Association of Home Builders.

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