The 4th annual Whatcom Housing Week is here!

With the global COVID-19 pandemic and increasing unrest over racial injustice in America, having a safe, equitable, and affordable home is more important than ever.

Whatcom Housing Week 2020 will be a mix of virtual events and socially-distanced activities for housing enthusiasts and the broader community alike. We look forward to having engaging and educational discussions about housing in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Mark your calendars now!

2020 Housing Week Schedule

Register once and get access to ALL Housing Week events plus additional content for FREE.

Registration includes: individual Zoom links for each event, suggested resources for additional learning opportunities, and a FREE pass to access recorded content from over 30 sessions at the Innovations in Naturally Affordable Housing Summit.

Many people think “affordable housing” is a real estate sector where specialized housing developers plan large, heavily subsidized apartments using complicated tax credits and HUD financing. The Innovation in Naturally Affordable Housing Virtual Summit looks at a much broader view of innovations that can reduce the cost of housing and expand housing options that are affordable and (as much as practical) owned by the residents. Participants will learn how communities can bring many partners together to implement high-value, economical, and practical strategies for housing that is “naturally” affordable without requiring large, on-going subsidies to make it affordable.

Register for the Naturally Affordable Housing Summit Here

How to Register:

  1. Click the link above
  2. Add the “All Access Pass” to your cart
  3. Fill out registration fields
  4. Check your email inbox for the “You’re In!” email
  5. Visit the “On-Demand Site” and log in
  6. Enjoy access to over 30+ sessions of recorded content!

*It may take some time after you registration to gain access to the On-Demand Site. If you are experiencing difficulties, please wait an hour and try logging in again. If issues, persist, please email info@whatcomhousingalliance.org for help.


Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

All Week Long
Enter the prize drawing!


Get to know your neighborhood with our family-friendly neighborhood scavenger hunt! This scavenger hunt is the perfect socially-distant activity for neighbors of all ages. Enjoy some fresh air and get familiar with your neighborhood at the same time. Submit your completed scavenger hunt for a chance to win a prize!

Participants can download a PDF or play online.


Richard Rothstein Keynote Presentation

Monday, October 12

Separate registration is required. Use code “COMMUNITY” for a free general admission ticket.


We are excited to kick off Whatcom Housing Week with a keynote speech from distinguished historian, Richard Rothstein. Rothstein specializes in the history of segregation in the US particularly in relation to housing and education. In his best selling book, The Color of Law, Rothstein explains how anti-Black governmental policies such redlining are to blame for the segregation of our cities. In this virtual presentation, Rothstein will further explain this narrative and how American cities can move away from historically racist housing policies toward a more just and equitable future.

The Whatcom Housing Alliance is collaborating with the Housing Development Consortium in Seattle to bring you this event. It will be hosted through the online platform, Seattle Town Hall. After the keynote speech, there will be a panel discussion with Pacific Northwest experts on housing policy.

Separate registration is required for this event. Please click the button below to register.

Use code “COMMUNITY” to get a FREE general admission ticket. 

Find this event on Facebook here

Join us for a Book Club Discussion on Tuesday where we will be discussing Richard Rothstein’s book, The Color of Law.


Coffee & Conversation: Activating Historically Underrepresented Voices

Tuesday, October 13


Join us for Coffee and Conversation as we brainstorm about local housing solutions. During this session, we will discuss why those who most commonly participate in the public process are often under-representative of the broader community. Seattle for Everyone coordinator, Brady Nordstrom, will discuss how he has helped to mobilize and activate a base of support from a demographic that more closely aligns with the diversity of the population. We will then look locally to see how we can mobilize and empower Bellingham For Everyone Allies by encouraging participation in public process – because everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard!

Find this event on Facebook here.

Pre-session Learning Opportunity:

Before the session, please watch the Neighborhood Defender presentation by Katherine Levine Einstein from the Innovations in Naturally Affordable Housing Summit. The presentation is titled “How to Manage Local Opposition to Housing and Reform the Public Meeting Process” and Katherine Einstein is the first 15 minutes of the presentation. Katherine will show that public meetings surrounding housing development are unrepresentative of their broader communities, and discuss what advocates and policymakers can do about it.

You must be registered for the Summit to view this presentation. Registration is FREE, please see registration information above.


Book Club Discussion:
The Color of Law

Tuesday, October 13


Join us as we discuss the best selling book, The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein. Richard Rothstein is a distinguished historian who specializes in segregation in the US in relation to housing and education. The Color of Law unpacks how anti-Black governmental policies such redlining are to blame for the segregation of our cities. This Book Club will focus on the writings of the Rothstein and how they relate to the local context of Whatcom County. Dr. Joy Wiggins, local equity and diversity leader and change maker, will lead us through a facilitated discussion on the history of zoning in Bellingham and Whatcom County, the racial inequities that have stemmed from those zoning policies, and what we can do to enact more just and equitable housing policies locally.

Find this event of Facebook here.

To support our local book store and Richard Rothstein himself, we encourage participants to purchase The Color of Law through Village Books if you are able. However, we do not want this to be a barrier to participation. Free book rentals in various formats are available through the Bellingham Public Library. We are also able to provide a limited amount of books for free. Please email info@whatcomhousingalliance.org to request financial assistance.


Coffee and Conversation: Breaking Out of the Housing Trap

Wednesday, October 14


Join us for Coffee and Conversation as we brainstorm about local housing solutions. During this session, we will discuss a presentation from Strong Towns President, Charles Marohn. This presentation states that a solution to overcome the “housing crisis” is to create an anti-fragile housing ecosystem in which the bar to entry is low, and every neighborhood can undergo incremental change over time. With the help of executive director of Futurewise, Alex Brennan, and other regional experts, we will use this lens to brainstorm possibilities for local improvements in housing.

Find this event on Facebook here

Pre-session Learning Opportunity:

Before the session, please watch the “Breaking Out of the Housing Trap” presentation by Strong Towns president, Charles Marohn from the Innovations in Naturally Affordable Housing Summit. This presentation will help you understand the root causes of America’s interrelated housing crises, and identify some rational responses that your city (and every city) can take.

You must be registered for the Summit to view this presentation. Registration is FREE, please see registration information above.


Housing & Mobility: Creating a More Vibrant Community

Wednesday, October 14


Sustainable transportation expert, Paulo Nunes-Ueno, will facilitate a conversation about the necessity for communities to have access to a variety of mobility options including walking, biking, and transit. Paulo will explore how these mobility options impact housing and other community values such as the environment, equity, and the local economy. After a short presentation, we will be joined by a panel of local experts and community members who will take this topic into the local context and explore possibilities for future improvements to our transportation sector.

Paulo Nunes-Ueno is an expert in sustainable transportation and effective urban solutions for transit, mobility and parking. He has been working on sustainable transportation in Seattle for many years, and he now consults directly with organizations to help them design and implement cutting edge enterprise commute programs. You can view several of Paulo’s presentations on mobility on his website: www.nunes-ueno.com/speaking

Find this event on Facebook here

Pre-session Learning Opportunity:

Please watch this presentation by Paulo titled, “Urban Mobility and Climate Action“. Paulo came to our very own, Western Washington University, to present as part of the Institute for Energy Studies Speaker Series.


Whatcom Housing Alliance All Member Meeting

Thursday, October 15


Welcome all Whatcom Housing Alliance members and interested organizations. Our biannual All Member Meetings are an opportunity for us to reconvene with our members, celebrate our successes, and provide insight on future goals. we will be meeting virtually this year, so please register for this meeting to obtain information.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the social unrest around racial injustice in America, the Whatcom Housing Alliance has pushed forward passing important housing policies, providing technical assistance, and increasing the Bellingham For Everyone Ally base. However, there is still lots of work to be done and we need the help from our members. Join us as we brainstorm ways to increase the collective action of our membership to create lasting change in our community.

This meeting is for Whatcom Housing Alliance member organizations only – it is not available for the general public.


Housing Awards

Find out who this year’s winners are during Housing Week
More info coming soon!

Thank you to our Housing Week Sponsors!