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Healthy Communities Start at Home

What is housing week?

With presentations from national experts, deep-dive workshops, and tours, Whatcom Housing Week builds awareness of innovative housing options as a means to create diverse, vibrant, healthy places for everyone. Whatcom Housing Week activities are open to the public, industry professionals, and civic leaders.

Housing Week Event details

Monday, NOV 6

Kickoff Presentation: Communities of Opportunity- Housing Equity in the 21st Century

Time: 10:00am -11:30am
Location: Eleanor Apartments,
1510 North Forest Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Audience: General public
Speaker(s): Rep. Nicole Macri, Greg Winter (Moderator)
Topic: Policy development
Presenting Organization: Opportunity Council

Join the Opportunity Council as we kick off Housing Week with an engaging keynote with Rep. Nicole Macri. Nicole has more than 20 years of experience championing progressive causes on issues around affordable housing, homelessness, human services, and mental health. She has been at the forefront of the Housing First movement nationally, and is a recognized leader in practical and effective strategies that end the homelessness of people living with serious disabilities. During this keynote and panel discussion to follow, we will be inspired by new innovations to advance access to affordable housing and housing equity.

Monday, NOV 6

Convening a NEW regional Network: More Cooperation to Create More Homes People Can Afford

Time: 1:00-3:00pm
Location: Eleanor Apartments,
1510 North Forest Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Audience: Regional housing advocates
Advocacy & Regional Cooperation
Presenting organization: Opportunity Council

Together, a number of non-profit housing partners, with support from public agencies, are creating a new, nongovernmental Network focused on housing affordability, modeled after successes elsewhere. More networking in Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties will foster policy development and advocacy that promotes the affordability of homes for people with incomes less than the median. Key people from each county will convene for a discussion of the concept. The general public is invited to attend and participate.

Monday, NOV 6

Film and Discussion:
Looking for Functional Zero

Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Pickford Film Center
1318 BAY ST, Bellingham, WA 98225
Audience: general public – tickets required
Speaker(s): Executive Producer Greg Winter; Producers Lisa Gruwell Spicer and Frederick Dent
Topic: Homelessness
Presenting Organization: Opportunity Council

Tickets available in advance

Join the partners of Housing Week for new film exploring of the causes and solutions to homelessness in Whatcom County, followed by questions and answers with the film’s producers. Looking for Functional Zeroa locally-produced film, examines homelessness in Bellingham, WA within the larger context of homelessness in the United States. The term functional zero is controversial. It originally referred to the idea that there were no more homeless veterans because enough resources had been dedicated to solving the problem so that no veteran would remain homeless for more than a month. But controversy still exists because some used the term to imply that homelessness was no longer a problem for veterans. The documentary explores these issues as well as homelessness in non-veteran populations.

Tuesday, NOV 7

Talk & Tour: Innovative Homeownership in Whatcom County

Time: 1:00-7:00pm
Location: Tour: meet on the sidewalk outside of the Leopold and load onto the bus for a tour of homes in the Bellingham area. Please park in the Commercial Street Parking Garage and be sure to register as space is limited.
Happy Hour and discussion: Leopold Retirement Residence
Audience: general public
Topic: Rising housing prices and homeownership opportunities
Presenting Organization: Kulshan Community Land Trust

With median home prices in Whatcom County climbing above $382,000 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 in the Fountain District, a demonstration project in the Birchwood Neighborhood, Bellingham’s first Net Zero home, a fifty-four home infill project on Telegraph Road and others.

The tour will be followed by an affordable homeownership social hour and panel discussion that talks about creating solutions that address rising housing prices and homeownership opportunities for families earning a wide range of income, including the missing middle.

Wednesday, NOV 8

Building a Better Birchwood Charrette; Envisioning Deep Green and Affordability

Time: 8:00-12:00pm
Location: Eleanor Apartments
1510 North Forest Street St, Bellingham, WA 98225
Audience: building professionals, housing advocates
Speakers: Molly Freed, Sam Wright
Topic: Sustainable development and affordable housing
Presenting Organization: Kulshan Community Land Trust, Sustainable Connections

Living Buildings can be accessible to all. This half day charrette will use the Living Building Challenge Framework to assess the Birchwood Affordable Housing Project to build homes that have no energy bills, are free from toxic materials, and are truly sustainable for future generations.The charrette is designed to be an interactive and educational experience for the participants. Breakfast will be provided.

Wednesday, NOV 8

Health, Housing, and Strengthening Our Community’s Social Immune System

Time: 1:00-2:30pm; panel discussion: 3-4:30pm
Location: Eleanor Apartments
1510 North Forest Street St, Bellingham, WA 98225
Audience: health and building industry professionals
Speakers: Suzanne Lennard, Executive Director, International Making Cities Livable Conferences; Panel Introduction by Leanne Berge, Chief Executive of Community Health Plan of Washington and Community Health Network of Washington
Panelists: Derek Long, Sustainable Connections; April Barker, Bellingham City Council; Des Skubi, Unity Care NW; Dr. Greg Baker, Bellingham School District; Ross Quigley, Opportunity Council
Moderator: Astrid Newell, Whatcom County Health Department
Topic: Health impacts of housing
Presenting Organization: Community Health Plan of Washington and Unity Care NW

This event is approved for 3.5 Health/Safety/Welfare continuing educational units by the American Institute of Architects.  

The afternoon will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Suzanne Lennard. Dr. Lennard’s work addresses the social, cultural, and psychological aspects of architecture, urban design and city-making, clarifying how the built environment affects social interaction, health, and quality of everyday life. Her studies focus particular attention on the way the built environment affects the lives of children and youth; the relationship between physical health, social health, housing, and the built environment; and how communities can strengthen their “social immune systems.”

The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion. Panelists will discuss the implications of Dr. Lennard’s research on issues we face in our community related to health, wellness, and housing.

Wednesday, NOV 8

40th Anniversary of Housing Rehabilatation

Time: 5:00-6:30pm
Location: Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room
121 Prospect St, Bellingham, WA 98225
Audience: public

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the City of Bellingham’s Home Rehabilitation Program!
The Home Rehabilitation Program – which helps low income, senior and disabled homeowners make needed health and safety repairs – has been in place since 1977 aiding over 900 homeowners and funding over six million dollars in local repairs.

Thursday, NOV 9

Sustainable Design and Development Conference: Transforming the market to Net Zero Carbon

Time: 8:00-5:00pm
Location: Bellingham Technical College – Settlemyer Hall
3028 Lindbergh Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225
Audience: building industry professionals
Speaker: Keynotes include Patti Southard, King County Green Tools; Vince Martinez, Architecture 2030
Topic: Social equity and sustainability
Presenting Organization: Sustainable Connections

With a focus on creating high-performance buildings and communities, this year’s conference brings you the tools and strategies needed to change the way your projects are planned, designed, and constructed. Learn from keynote Patti Southard, who has been one of the most formidable change-agents the Pacific Northwest has seen. As program manager for King County Green Tools, she has unmatched expertise around creating vibrant, healthy, and sustainable communities that all people can enjoy and benefit from.

Thursday, NOV 9

Housing Week Celebration and Awards

Time: 5:30-7:00pm
Location: Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen
601 W Holly St, Bellingham, WA 98225
Audience: all stakeholders
Topic: Networking for change
Presenting Organization: Sustainable Connections

A capstone to the week of events to highlight the successes from the week, solutions generated and celebrate local community members going above and beyond with housing solutions.

About Housing Week

Housing Week is a series of events to build awareness and support for innovative housing solutions that 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 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.

Housing Week Partners & Sponsors