Provincial authority freezes assets of Highbridge Construction, suspends licence

housing starts
housing starts

The provincial authority that licenses new home builders has frozen the assets and suspended the licence of Highbridge Construction.

The Orléans company suddenly shuttered Feb. 3, leaving numerous clients, employees and contractors in the lurch.

“A licensed home builder is expected to be financially responsible,” said Wendy Moir, CEO and registrar of the Home Construction Regulatory Authority, in a news release. “We are determined to find out what happened, and especially what happened to the purchasers’ deposit funds. Highbridge Construction claims that the money is gone but will not provide the HCRA with any documentation to back up those claims.”  

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The authority has sent a notice to Highbridge, which has been licensed as ViloHam Trades Inc. since January 2021, citing the company for ceasing operations while it had at least five ongoing new home construction projects underway. HCRA said it is particularly concerned that deposit money was taken from purchasers as part of these projects but was not returned as the company claimed insolvency.

 The authority said it has demanded records and responses relating to the deposit funds. However, when Highbridge failed to comply, HCRA issued an immediate compliance order and a freeze order requiring Highbridge to hold all assets and funds.

“These are extraordinary remedies, but we will do everything possible to protect consumers from unethical conduct by builders and vendors,” Moir said. 

The HCRA urges anyone who has bought a new home or engaged in a financial transaction with Highbridge or anyone associated with the company to contact the authority immediately.

While Highbridge Construction was primarily a home renovation business, it was licensed as a new homebuilder. The HCRA said it is aware of five new home construction projects where deposits had been paid but work was not completed.

The Home Construction Regulatory Authority launched on Feb. 1, 2021, as the province’s newest regulator responsible for licensing the people and companies that build and sell new homes in the province. 

A search of the federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s database found no filings for ViloHam Trades as of Tuesday morning. 

OBJ has attempted to reach Highbridge for comment but has not received a response.

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