Thank You for joining US FOR Whatcom housing week 2022: A SERIES OF EVENTS THAT BUILD AWARENESS AND SUPPORT FOR INNOVATIVE HOUSING SOLUTIONS. Learn, engage, discuss, and feel empowered.


Keep checking back for recordings!

2022 Housing Week Schedule

Housing Luminary Award Winners


Build Community Day

Saturday, October 15, 8:30 am
Hosted by: Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County
Telegraph Townhome Community


Habitat for Humanity welcomes everyone to attend this year’s Build Community Day at Telegraph Townhome Community. Staff and volunteers will be working in the King Mountain neighborhood, engaging in minor repairs, as well as community projects for the neighbors of Telegraph Townhomes. There will also be a candidate forum during the lunch hour at the Unity Spiritual Center. So far, Tawsha Thompson, Sharon Shewmake, Simon Sefzik, Alicia Rule and Trevor Smith have agreed to join to share their thoughts on the affordable housing crisis in Whatcom, and discuss ways we can come together as a community to solve it. We hope you can attend this important discussion.


Expanding Housing Opportunities

Monday, October 17, 8-1:30 pm
Hosted by: Whatcom County Association of Realtors
Bellingham Country Club


With housing costs unattainable to the majority of our community, access and understanding of the range of affordable housing opportunities is important for our real estate professionals and their clients. Join the Whatcom Association of REALTORS® as we explore Expanding Housing Opportunities with expert Jan Ellingson.

The course is designed to help real estate professionals understand affordable housing issues and their role in increasing housing opportunities and will be followed by a panel presentation with lending and affordable housing experts that can help get your clients on the pathway to homeownership.

8:00- Registration, light refreshments

8:30-12:30 Expanding Housing Opportunities Course

12:30-1:30 Lunch and Panel Discussion

Lunch Included with registration

The class is designed to: educate on the range of affordable housing opportunities and clients seeking them; increase students’ knowledge and understanding of how affordability impacts the housing market, their clients, their business, and their community; help students analyze affordable financing options through credible lenders, including local, state, federal, and non-profit assistance programs for buyers and renters; and teach students how to better leverage partnerships and resources to expand housing opportunities through workforce housing initiatives, green building concepts, and advocacy to benefit the student, their clients, and their communities.

This class is a 4-hour education course developed by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The class is designed for an audience of real estate professionals, but is open to all.


People Over Parking Happy Hour

Monday, October 17, 4:30-6:30pm
Hosted by: Walk and Roll Bellingham, Parking Reform Network
Location: HUB Community Bike shop 1320 Commercial St.


It’s easy to take car parking for granted. For generations our cities have required nearly every new building — be it a home, an office, a restaurant, or a bowling alley — to provide off-street car storage and the result is that parking is so ubiquitous that people only notice it when they can’t find it or have to pay to use it. The impacts of all this parking include higher rents, sprawl, and car dependency, feeding into a vicious cycle of more cars, more parking, wider roads, and more sprawl. The good news is that there is a simple prescription to halt and reverse this condition: eliminate parking mandates, manage on-street parking using pricing, and use the revenues to improve the neighborhood and encourage less driving. But be warned, once you see the truth about cheap and abundant parking, you’ll never be the same.


Samish Walking Tour – the making of an urban village

Tuesday, October 18, 11am – 1pm
Hosted by: RMC Architects
Location: Meet at McKay’s Taphouse 1118 E Maple St, Bellingham


Join us in a historical walking tour to uncover how Samish has transformed from the busy highway 99 to our fastest growing urban village. Discover how local residents participated in planning for this future, what our city is doing to encourage smart growth and how well it is going… And find out what all those cranes are up to! After a nice stroll down Samish Way, we will meet at McKay’s taphouse for a free lunch on us where we will discuss strategies for ensuring our urban villages live up to the hype!

Hosted by RMC Architects


Lunch & Learn The Way Station: A New Health & Hygiene Center for People Experiencing Homelessness

Tuesday, October 18, 12:30-1:30 pm
Hosted by: Unity Care NW
Location: WECU Education Center, 511 E Holly St


Partnering Organizations, Unity Care NW, Opportunity Council, PeaceHealth, and The Whatcom County Health Department will provide an overview of the operations planning and goals for a unique facility. The Way Station will bring together models that have been successful in other communities by supporting the health of people experiencing homelessness and creating pathways into permanent housing. Lunch provided by Sustainable Connections.

Nicole Fields
Population Health Manager
Unity Care NW

Rachel Lucy
Director of Community Health

Teri Bryant
Director, Whatcom Homeless Service Center
Opportunity Council

Malora Christensen
Response Systems Manager
Whatcom County Health Department


Housing for People of All Ages

Tuesday, October 18, Time 5-6:30pm
Hosted by: Aging Well Whatcom, The Chuckanut Foundation


Affordable housing is a significant challenge in Whatcom County; as costs of renting and home ownership continue to rise, housing options become increasingly scarce for many older adults with fixed incomes. More housing, and the right mix of housing at various price points, will ensure all older adults are housed, and that a wider variety of housing arrangements are available, including a continuum of long-term care options. Join Aging Well Whatcom and Cathy MacCaul from the AARP as they discuss solutions for Housing to Age Gracefully.


State-wide Affordability Solutions: More homes, all shapes and sizes, for all our communities

Wednesday, October 19, 12-1:30pm
Hosted by: Homes4WA, Sightline Institute

Watch the Recording


Join Homes4WA partners and Sightline Institute researchers to learn about state-wide policy solutions to address Washington’s housing shortage and provide access and opportunities for residents of all incomes by allowing more home choices in communities big and small. We’re working with legislators, local elected officials, and a growing coalition of stakeholders and advocates on a slate of policy solutions to be introduced in the 2023 legislative session. Learn about ideas brewing for state-wide reform for more accessory dwelling units, middle housing, density near transit, GMA updates, residential building code updates, condo reform, REET funding, and housing benefit districts. And join us to learn how you can get involved and help usher changes through the legislature.

We believe that together we can knock down the invisible walls that exclusionary zoning rules put up around our communities, taking steps to reverse the legacy of discriminatory redlining and downzoning that still dictates who can afford to live in our job centers. Together we can make our communities more affordable, legalizing less expensive homes like apartments, duplexes, townhomes, and backyard cottages. We can expand opportunity for all Washingtonians, defend renters, open doors to homeownership, and protect Washington families against housing instability and homelessness. Together we can protect Washington’s farms and forests, reduce sprawl, and cut our climate change pollution.


Whatcom County Candidate Forum

Wednesday, October 19, 6pm
Hosted by: Whatcom/Bellingham Chamber of Commerce, the BIA and the AGC

Watch the Recording


WHA, Whatcom/Bellingham Chamber of Commerce, the BIA and the AGC invite you to join us for our Housing Forum with County and State candidates. We will be hosting this forum for our members to discuss affordable housing priorities and solutions with prospective elected officials.

This is also an opportunity call attention to our policy agenda and steer in-depth in conversation towards our key priority areas of work.


Creating Incentives that Work with Rick Jacobus- WHA All Member Meetings

Thursday, October 20, 8:30am – 11:30am
Hosted by: Whatcom Housing Alliance
Location: Unity and Flora, 207 Unity St., Bellingham


Join us for our bi-annual Whatcom Housing Alliance All Member meeting and explore strategies to encourage our for-profit developers to be part of the affordable housing solution. We will be joined by Rick Jacobus, a national expert in inclusionary housing and affordable homeownership and the principal of Street Level Urban Impact Advisors. During this presentation, we will deep dive into the success and pitfalls of inclusionary housing and how to enact policies that combat unequal access to housing.


Housing Luminary Awards and Celebration

Thursday, October 20, 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Hosted by: Whatcom Housing Alliance
Location: Unity and Flora Commons, 207 Unity St.


Help us celebrate another successful Housing Week! There will be local housing enthusiasts sharing 5 Minutes of Brilliance for Bold Ideas for Housing Action in Whatcom County, we will award our Housing Luminaries, have our Housing Week Raffle, and of course, save time for networking with delicious refreshments!

Thank you to our Housing Week Sponsors!