Who are St Marks?

St Marks is a Short Life Housing Cooperative established in London in 1983. We are a non-profit, equal opportunities co-operative and are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. We have ongoing relationships with several Housing Associations and Trusts in London.

Short life housing, sometimes known as 'meanwhile' housing, allows housing providers such as councils, housing associations and private landlords to license their properties for short-term use.

St Marks has substantial experience helping to look after vacant properties on a short-life basis, while they await refurbishment or reassignment.

Why us?

All potential occupants are members who have been vetted and approved by St Marks using a formal application and interview process.

Unlike many larger housing co-operatives, St Marks small size ensures the cohesion and accountability of its members. We are a true co-operative with each member actively participating in the running of the coop.

We ensure that our members vacate promptly within the one month notice period, look after and often improve your property while providing affordable accommodation to those who need it.

Other benefits

Empty housing units make neighbours feel uneasy. They’re prone to squatters and vandals and can quickly become a magnet for anti-social behaviour. Placing our carefully selected members in vacant properties improves their sense of security and ensures that you will be alerted to any dereliction or required urgent repairs.

Our members can help protect your property and sustain the local community, by living in an otherwise unoccupied flat or house until it is repurposed. They also provide you with a regular income from property that would otherwise lie dormant.

For more about the history of St Marks visit Self Help Housing

Probocsis create a visual history of St Marks

In 2006, as part of Social Tapestries, Probocsis collaborated with St Marks on a research programme investigating public authoring in specific community contexts. Proboscis is an artist-led creative studio who communicate stories through art. This collaboration explored how a small transient community (brought together through a common need for affordable housing) could share and retain it's knowledge and experience. Proboscis worked with St Marks to uncover the history of the co-op, lost over time, to begin to enable the co-op to retain and pass on knowledge more effectively and to look at how public authoring systems (such as Urban Tapestries) can be integrated to enable the retention of knowledge in the future.

Portraits © Kevin Percival Photography.

Registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. Reg No: 23999R. Fully mutual rules: RRFM 96.