Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Homebuilders offer a house-load of thanks for 2013

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As 2013 draws to a close and a new year begins, the Manitoba Home Builders Association wants to take this opportunity to recognize and thank those people who made this past year a success.

The residential construction industry is a huge part of Manitoba's economy. Its $3.4-billion impact accounts for more than 23,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in wages, as well as generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

Of course, initial kudos must go to the volunteers and staff who drive the MHBA. There are 10 standing committees of the Association with around 10 members each. That means about 100 people are giving their time and expertise to the MHBA each year, showing that numerous companies recognize the importance of being involved in their professional association. It doesn't work without this kind of commitment.

The MHBA presents both large and small events each year. The spring and fall Parade of Homes events are the largest and best-run in Canada. The Home Expressions Show in March and the Kitchen, Bath & Renovation Show in January are the largest events held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Tens of thousands of people participate in these four very public events.

At the other end of the spectrum, the MHBA hosts housing forums, educational seminars, awards evenings, dinner meetings, golf and curling outings and a variety of other activities that encourage interaction and professional development among members. The financial support from sponsorship keeps all of these activities at reasonable prices. A huge thank-you goes to all of the various sponsors, too many to list, but many of whom can be found on the MHBA website.

Legislation, policies, practices and procedures can be frustrating at the best of times. However, without full consultation, they can be almost impossible. Recognition and thanks must go to the open-door policies of Premier Greg Selinger and the many ministers and government staff whose portfolios have a tremendous impact on the residential construction industry. Similarly, across the floor, Brian Pallister and Jon Gerrard ensure that all sides are being heard.

Mayor Sam Katz, the city's Executive Policy Committee and council members, and everyone at Planning Property and Development work very hard under trying circumstances to keep Winnipeg vibrant and prosperous. The MHBA is the envy of other major, urban centre-based housing associations for the co-operative rather than confrontational approach taken by the City of Winnipeg.

Local media ask tough but fair questions and report things as they are. Fellow industry associations come together for common causes. And let's never forget those charitable organizations (especially Habitat and Variety) who are so close to our hearts and recognize the importance of housing.

Wishing everyone a most happy 2014.

Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 28, 2013 F9

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