WHATCOM HOUSING WEEK

FreE & OPEN TO ALL
JOIN US FOR A SERIES OF EVENTS THAT BUILD AWARENESS AND SUPPORT FOR INNOVATIVE HOUSING SOLUTIONS TO CREATE DIVERSE, VIBRANT, HEALTHY HOMES FOR EVERYONE.

Bellingham and Whatcom County are reaching an unprecedented housing crisis and now is the time to have more important conversations and action about affordability, livability, and homelessness. Housing week partners and sponsors have a shared goal to increase opportunities for people of all income levels to have the opportunity to live in walkable neighborhoods that foster healthy lifestyles.

Housing week provides education and awareness to empower advocates, and engage in dialogue about positive solutions. The week’s activities are free and designed for all stakeholders, including the general public, industry professionals, and civic leaders. With presentations from national experts, deep-dive workshops, and tours, Housing Week will highlight creative housing solutions for everyone.

All are welcome, and most events take place at accessible locations.
Please note in your RSVP by October 13 if you would like accommodations for childcare, sign language, assisted listening devices, or communication in an alternative format.

Housing Week Events At A Glance

SUNDAY

Downtown Bellingham Housing Week Tour
Downtown Housing Tour

Sunday, October 21
12pm-4pm
Downtown Bellingham
Take the self guided tour using our online map.

Hosted by: Whatcom Housing Alliance

Summary

Have you ever wondered what it looks like inside a downtown home? Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in one of the most unique downtowns in Washington.
Community, culture, convenience, and yes — home. Whether you’re a young family, empty-nester, low income or high, our downtown has housing for everyone. During this tour, check out a variety of homes from the renovated, historic Mt Baker Apartments for low income to brand new apartment for seniors at several tour stops.
From diversity, art and entertainment to walkability, bikeability and connectivity, all of the amenities and attractions make living downtown one compelling lifestyle. Learn more about the housing options and the benefit they bring to creating a vibrant downtown. Start your tour at any of the tour sites, or at one of three information stations found on the map.
Brought to you by the Whatcom Housing Alliance, its members and some incredible downtown residents.
Take the self guided tour using our online map.

SUNDAY

Tenants rights image
Are you a renter? Know your rights!

Sunday, October 21
1pm-3pm
Localgroup Studio, 221 Prospect St.

Hosted by: Bellingham Tenants Union

Summary

Renters unite! A majority of Bellingham rents (54%) — the city can’t function without tenants. Yet housing is increasingly unaffordable and precarious for working-class renters. Tenant-landlord law is confusing and weighted against us. This event seeks to empower renters with a tenant rights training, followed by a discussion of current shortcomings of tenant protections and how we can wield our collective power to change it. We will also share the resources and opportunities BTU provides to the community. There will be social time for attendees to get to know each other.

SUNDAY

COB Housing Week Event
What is Your Local Government Doing About Housing and Homelessness? 

Sunday, October 21
5pm – 7pm
Limelight Cinema, 1416 Cornwall Avenue

Hosted by: City of Bellingham

Summary

There are multiple levels of government and dozens of local agencies that are working to address the housing affordability crisis and rising homelessness. Understanding how they all fit together can be quite confusing! This is your chance to “look under the hood” of some of the recent and ongoing programs in our community, using examples highlighted in three short films. Come to learn who does what related to affordable housing and homelessness in our area – and bring your burning questions for those who are working on these issues every day. The popcorn is on us!

MONDAY

Landlord Mitigation Program – The Right Choice, The Right Solution

Monday, October 22
9:30am – 11am
Bellingham Public Library: Central Branch Meeting Room, 210 Central Avenue

Hosted by: State of Washington – Department of Commerce, Bellingham Housing Authority, Opportunity Council – Whatcom Homeless Service Center

Summary

Throughout Washington a new Landlord Mitigation Program went into effect on June 7th, 2018. Property owners who lease to tenants that have rental assistance can now seek reimbursement up to $6,000, and for up to fourteen-days of rent loss, per subsidized tenant. Nicholas Yuva, Landlord Mitigation Administrator for the State of Washington, will arm landlords with the knowledge, tools and resources to easily and efficiently submit claims for reimbursement. Representatives from the Bellingham Housing Authority and Opportunity Council will also provide information about local rental assistance programs that may make a landlord eligible for reimbursement through this new Program.

MONDAY

Gap Between Housing and Homelessness
The Housing Gap and Homelessness

Monday, October 22
Noon-1pm
Eleanor Apartments, 1510 N Forest St.

Hosted by: Habitat for Humanity and Kulshan Community Land Trust

Summary

Come join the Opportunity Councils Greg Winter and Ted Kelleher as we explore recent and long-term economic trends which best explain Bellingham’s exceptionally high rate of residents experiencing homelessness. First, of a four-part lunchtime series, this session will provide the foundation to better understand the profound social impacts of the inability of the average wage-earned to afford a starter home in our community. Lunch provided by the Opportunity Council.

MONDAY

Housing Vouchers Housing Week
Demystifying the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8): An overview of Facts, Fiction, and Benefits

Monday, October 22
5:30pm-7pm
Eleanor Apartments, 1510 N Forest St.

Hosted by: Bellingham Housing Authority

Summary

Created in the 1970’s, the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) is the Federal government’s largest program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Throughout the United States more than 2.2 million low-income families use vouchers to help pay their rent, and in Whatcom County the Bellingham Housing Authority assists approximately 1,800 households. This session will provide a general overview of how the program works, with a goal of clarifying common misconceptions and discussing a variety of community benefits.

TUESDAY

Homes-and-Health
The Housing Gap and Positive Health & Educational Outcomes

Tuesday, October 23
Noon-1pm
Eleanor Apartments, 1510 N Forest St.

Hosted by: Habitat for Humanity and Kulshan Community Land Trust

Summary

This panel discussion will explore how insecure or substandard housing affects the ability to function on a daily basis in a productive way. Led by Steve Clarke, Assistant Superintendent, Bellingham School District, the second of a four-part series, this session will explore how success in school or a sense of well-being is altered by the price of a starter home in our community.

TUESDAY

Zurich-model Housing Week
Learning from The Vienna Model Exhibition, Zurich, and Other Advanced Places

Tuesday, October 23
5:30pm-7pm
Eleanor Apartments, 1510 N Forest St.

Hosted by: Localgroup Studio, Paul Schissler Associates

Summary

The most civilized cities in the world, like Vienna and Zurich, show how wonderfully advanced a social housing system can be and how far we can aspire to go, aiming for a time when there are enough homes and affordable choices for everyone who finds themselves in our community. Stories, facts, and visuals from other places can help expand our comprehension of what is possible, what might work here, and how fast we might improve on the good work that’s already happening in our region.

WEDNESDAY

Housing Week Bus Tour
Housing Solutions Bus Tour

Wednesday, October 24
9am-12pm
Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave

Hosted by: Kulshan Community Land Trust

Summary

With median home prices in Whatcom County climbing above $452,900 it’s getting more and more difficult for hardworking families to buy a home in the community they love. Come see examples of innovative projects that address these concerns. We will be hosting a bus tour of Infill Toolkit projects, a demonstration project in the Birchwood Neighborhood, and a fifty-four home infill project on Telegraph Road and others.

WEDNESDAY

Economic Event Housing Week
The Housing Gap & The Economic Divide

Wednesday, October 24
Noon-1pm
Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave

Hosted by: Habitat for Humanity and Kulshan Community Land Trust

Summary

This presentation will define the challenges faced by employers and others dependent on a robust local economy. My employees can’t afford to live here is a major reason given by companies considering relocating to Whatcom County. Third, of a four-part series, this session will explore the economic impacts affected by the price of a starter home in our community.

WEDNESDAY

Womens Build Housing Week Event
Women’s Build

Wednesday, October 24
5:30pm-7pm
Mount Baker Theatre’s Encore Room, 104 North Commercial St.

Hosted by: Habitat for Humanity 

Summary

Join Habitat for Humanity at the Women Build Community Meeting to learn about the exciting housing solutions breaking ground in 2019 and how you can sign-up to build with us! No experience necessary so everyone is welcome to come learn skills on the build site, learn about our passive home design and to help build a home with our amazing families.

THURSDAY

Mind-the-Gap-Housing-Week-Event
Minding The Housing Gap

Thursday, October 25
Noon-1pm
Eleanor Apartments, 1510 N Forest St.

Hosted by: Habitat for Humanity and Kulshan Community Land Trust

Summary

The discussion will interactively review the week’s learning and explore solutions to fill or “Mind the Housing Gap”. A market driven solution grid will be developed to include Creating Price Points, Appropriate Green Technology and access to low cost capital.

THURSDAY

Housing-Heros-Reception
Housing Week Reception

Thursday, October 25
5:30pm-7:30pm
Boundary Bay Brewery Mountain Room

Hosted by: Whatcom Housing Alliance

Summary

Join us to celebrate the second annual Whatcom Housing Week!

In pursuit of innovative housing solutions, we also want to acknowledge the hard work that both individuals and organizations in Whatcom County have accomplished to help make our community a better place to live. The Whatcom Housing Alliance invites you to attend the Housing Week Luminary Awards. These awards will be given to projects, ideas, or innovations that inspire or advances the creation of diverse, vibrant, and healthy homes for everyone in Whatcom County.

Please RSVP

Thank You To Our Housing Week Sponsors