The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is facing a class-action lawsuit from leaky condo owners in the lower mainland and has a message for the people who suffered from this billion dollar debacle: F##k Off, its not our problem.
The lawyer for the CMHC argued on monday that his client shouldnâ€™t be on the hook for the leaky condo crisis since it owes no “statutory duty of care” to homeowners.
Lawyer Ross Clark argued in B.C. Supreme Court Monday that the housing department is under no statutory obligation to Canadians in the wake of the billion-dollar housing construction disaster that first surfaced in the early 1990s.
Many families were left in financial ruin, forced either into bankruptcy or saddled with repair bills ranging from $25,000 to more than $250,000 per household.
Clark urged Supreme Court Justice L. Smith to dismiss the latest effort to certify a class-action lawsuit against the housing agency. The same court denied an effort for certification in 2002.
Why yes, now that you mention it, this is the same CMHC that claims on its website to be â€œcommitted to helping Canadiansâ€ by improving â€œbuilding standards and housing constructionâ€ and providing â€œpolicymakers with the information and analysis they need to sustain a vibrant housing market in Canada.â€ It just so happens that this is also the same CMHC that was made aware of concerns about housing construction practices in coastal Canadian climates in the early eighties.
The CMHC isnâ€™t to blame, Clark said, for the water-logged walls and mould-infested interiors of condominiums and townhomes built during the 1980s and 1990s. That responsibility rests with those behind the â€œpoor design and construction.â€
Peter Simpson, of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, said he was puzzled by the CMHCâ€™s arguments in court. â€œI think it was an unfortunate comment to place the blame squarely at the feet of two members of the whole building community.â€
Simpson said the leaky condo crisis was a â€œsystemic problem and so thereâ€™s no shortage of blame to go around.â€