MLA James Ayward says government should meet with homebuilders to find a way to revitalize the industry.

Development has hit a brick wall in what in the past has been called P.E.I.'s fastest-growing community, says the MLA for Stratford-Kinlock.

From 2009 to 2012, construction in the Town of Stratford was worth about $30 million a year. So far in 2013, with December yet to be counted, that number has been cut in half: down to $14 million.

Opposition MLA James Aylward says builders tell him the HST is to blame.

"I know, for instance, there's three developers in Stratford that have subdivisions that they've essentially got on paper, but they're holding off," said Aylward.

"They know the market is just not there; the cost of construction has gone up."

Across P.E.I. housing starts were down 45 per cent in the six months after the HST was implemented and some builders blame the tax, which was introduced in April of this year. The HST adds an extra nine per cent tax on the cost of a new home.

Aylward said government should sit down with construction companies and talk about ways to revitalize the industry.

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