Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs
Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

BUILDING AND FIRE CODE APPLICATION RESPONSE

RESPONSE TO DRAFT GUILDELINES ON BUILDING CODE AND ONTARIO FIRE CODE APPLICATION TO GROUP HOME

September 27, 2002

Krystyna Paterson, P. Eng.
Manager, Fire Safety Standards
Ministry of Public Safety and Security
Office of the Fire Marshall
Place Nouveau Building
7th Floor, 5775 Yonge Street
NORTH YORK ON M2M 4J1

Dear Krystyna:

Re: RESPONSE TO DRAFT GUILDELINES ON BUILDING CODE AND ONTARIO
FIRE CODE APPLICATION TO GROUP HOME

PREABMBLE:

First, OASIS would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Public Safety and Security and the Ministry of Community, Family and Children’s Services for the opportunity to review the Draft material before it is implemented.

We apologize for filing our comments at the last moment, but we had difficulty over the summer to organize our key respondents due to holiday schedules.

We recognize and thank the Ministries for struggling with us to provide a safe environment for the individuals we support, yet allow the flexibility to purchase and operate normal homes in a community with slight modifications to meet safety standards.

OASIS states categorically that if 6.8.2 and 9.5 are applied to community group homes then hundreds of group homes across this province will be closed and thousands of individuals with a developmental handicap will be without housing. The work of this sector over the past 50 years will be all in vane and agencies will be forced to move out of residential options that they have provided in their communities.

COMMENTS ON DRAFT GUIDELINES:

We have had three agencies of different size geographic and urban/rural complexities within the OASIS Federation attempt to apply Worksheet 6.8.2 (Rating the resident in the risk factors). The comments we have received are as follows:

? Ratings will change from day to day.
? Time consuming to complete the Worksheet.
? With the amount of Respite that is provided in an agency, a new Worksheet would have to be completed on each visit and could move a house that is exempt to needing to comply.
? With the amount of Part-Time Staff that agencies use, no guarantee that someone new to the house could meet standards of someone whose home base is this particular home.
? Liability now moves to agency, and this is unacceptable.
? Very difficult to file a staff schedule as asked