Overview of the Ontario Association of Property Standards Officers (OAPSO)
The Ontario Association of Property Standards Officers was founded in 1974 with the purpose to provide training to all municipal personnel who are engaged in the administration or the enforcement of legislation governing the maintenance, occupancy, repair and improvement of property and the environment.
This Association conducts annual seminars and regional conferences at various locations throughout Ontario. These training sessions afford the membership the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge of modern building techniques and revised or new legislation. The benefits derived from this training are important due to the fact that government policies or regulations, building technology, materials and methods of inspections are constantly being transformed.
In 1990 the Association expanded the training program to include municipal committee members and Provincial Government employees involved in Property Standards. A further expansion in training occurred in 1992 to allow private sector individuals such as property managers, landlords, real estate agents and other interested parties the opportunity to become better acquainted with Property Standards.
On June 25, 1992, the Provincial Government, in recognition of the continuing endeavours of OAPSO to educate and train its membership, passed private legislation that permitted certification of those members of the Association who meet the established qualifications. Those members who qualify for certification are permitted to use the designation of C.P.S.O."Certified Property Standards Officer".
The Association currently has representation from municipalities and Government agencies from across Ontario. This broad coverage of the province provides the membership with a diversity of experiences to draw upon.
Objectives of the Association
- to promote and maintain the professional standards of property standards officers
- to provide formal training and continuing education to our members
- to hold conferences and meetings for the discussion of municipal affairs and matters of professional interest to our membership and for the presentation of papers and lectures
- to issue copies of papers, lectures and other material to our members and to collect and publish information of interest to our members
- to advise our members of developments in the laws and practices related to their municipal duties
Why is there a need for Property Standards?
In 1962 the Provincial Government published a meaningful report on property maintenance entitled "A Better Place To Live". The work involved in the production of this document revealed that there existed the need for a new discipline, a new expertise and a new approach to property maintenance and occupancy.
The preservation, renovation and rehabilitation of existing buildings are important factors related to the improvement of housing conditions, relief from fire and other building hazards and the general advancement of accommodation for the citizens of Ontario. Social workers, police, fire and health officials could testify to the consequences of people living in sub-standard and over-crowded conditions.
As recommended in the report, the Province passed legislation which permitted municipalities to pass by-laws setting out minimum standards of maintenance and occupancy for residential properties. This legislation was welcomed by many municipalities as a means of ensuring the preservation of municipal housing stock, the removal of derelict buildings, and as a means of safeguarding and preserving all existing and future housing.