Independent Living
   Cheshire Village
        Eric Miles
   Cheshire Village


Cheshire Homes have 41 Independent Living units, built at a cost of approximately R15M.  All of these units are situated on Cheshire Homes’ land and are adjacent to Residential Care facilities.

There is not much space on Cheshire Homes’ land for further expansion.  So we now must look for new options.  Most likely the next phase will be to acquire land less conveniently situated in relation to residential facilities or preferably develop in partnership with the Department of Housing.  This strategy would allow Cheshire to promote community integrated housing for persons with disabilities.

Before embarking on phase two we must identify what we have learnt so far.  First and foremost we must recognise that independent accommodation alone does not deliver independent living.  Without access to a supplementary income, individuals seeking independent living must be willing and skilled at sharing space and household duties.

Persons whose sole income is a monthly disability grant cannot meet the expense of living on their own.  However, if they are capable of sharing in groups of at least four, they can do so in a Cheshire cottage which is rent subsidised.  In fact, with support from one another, small groups can enjoy a comfortable standard of living.

Secondly, sharing with persons who have complementary skills can help overcome barriers.  Some of our independent living cottages are occupied by disabled and non-disabled partners. In fact we have partners with children as tenants of our cottages.

In so far as possible, Cheshire Homes’ Independent Living facilities strive to accommodate the aspirations of the tenant.  In short, we wish to limit rules and regulations to little more than good neighbourliness and respectful behaviour which is in the interest of the common good.

Hopefully in a few years from now we will have doubled the number of Cheshire Homes’ Independent Living units available to persons with disabilities.



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