This company gets involved through providing housing, financing, subsidizing, maintaining, organizing and consulting with other relevant institutions to enhance services to the community.
The Independent Living Trust was established in June 1995 by a group of homeless non-aged disabled persons. Their aim was
- Housing security
- To create a work environment for homeless non-aged disabled entrepreneurs.
- To create a platform through which the rights of the non-aged disabled would be enhanced.
Adv Ann Strauman, vice-chairperson of the Trust, contacted both the Housing Department of the Western Cape Provincial Administration and the Bellville Municipality to obtain a property in Vlei Street, Bellville. They were directed to the Department of Social Services but because The Independent Living Trust was not registered as a trust, they needed funding to buy the property, and was re-directed to Mr Andre van der Walt of Utilitas Retirement Centres. A loan of R320,000 was already granted to Utilitas to buy and develop 7 St George Street, and so a property was bought from Mr Anibal Rodrigues Dos Ramos for R300,000 and registered to Utilitas Retirement Centres on 25th April 1996.
Utilitas spent a lot of money to upgrade this house for the non-aged disabled, but due to discord between the two parties involved, Utilitas withdrew from the project. The main aim of The Independent Living Trust wasn’t met either.
Utilitas was forced to relocate five of the victimized residents to rooms in Huis Andre van der Walt since August 2002. Since 2003 no rent was received by Utilitas and the house was managed by Adv Strauman and her supporters.
Two of the residents, Adv Strauman and Mr J Williams, after a long battle, had received their marching orders in August 2007 to be evicted from the house. However, the eviction was unsuccessful.
Only after the death of Adv Strauman in September 2008, Utilitas was once again given the management of the project. A lot of money was spent, yet again, to make it habitable before any more disabled persons could be placed there. Additional changes were also made to provide more facilities and housing for 8 persons.
Utilitas, the Department of Social Services and Stikland Hospital shared a uniformed vision since day one. This was expanded during the second phase whereby Utilitas now involved the community and made them aware of the needs of the residents, by organizing entertainment and beautifying the house.
Since 2012, Utilitas started to plan and budget to expand and upgrade this project at its utmost maximum capacity according to Municipality regulations.
During mid June 2018 the current 8 residents were temporarily relocated to a property of Utilitas in Vredelust. The building in 7 St. Georges Street was demolished in August 2018 and a new building for 25 people was commissioned from 1 February 2020.
The first 7 residents were relocated from Vredelust on the 3rd of February 2020 to the new building. The building was officially handed over by the Architects to Utilitas on the 29th of January 2020.
Architects: Andre du Toit and Bernard Bruwer (Andre du Toit Architects)
Building Contractor: Jean Byliefeldt (JB Construction)
Interior Decorations: Daniele Niehaus
Three Supervisors moved in during December 2019 and the first new residents started to move in on the 1st of March 2020.
Utilitas is responsible for the maintenance of the property.
From Eureka Retirement Village, the project is managed, residents selected for admission and services rendered.
The Social Worker’s involvement is in the screening of residents and in co-operation with a group of volunteers, promoting the moral and quality of life of the residents.
Residents may also join the various services and activities of Eureka Retirement Village Senior Centre.
Supervisors on site:
The Supervisors are responsible for the well-being/safety of all residents and the reporting of any incidents, maintenance needs, security and safety problems to the Management of Eureka Retirement Village.
Needs and problems of residents, if necessary, will be referred to the Social Worker.