Change of Public Attendance for Board Meetings

Due to the guidance in the “Declaration of Emergency and New Recommendations to the Public from Satpal Sidhu, the Whatcom County Executive, in coordination with the Whatcom County Health Board,  the general public are asked to attend our Board of Commissioners Meetings over the phone.

Please follow the below call-in procedure and note that members of the public can conference in to the meeting, but will be in listen-only mode. Therefore, we ask that you provide your written public comments in advance of meetings.

Click Here to Email Public Comment

or mail your public comment to:

Bellingham Housing Authority
P.O. Box 9701
Bellingham, WA 98227-9701

 

Meeting Information:

US Toll-Free: 888-788-0099
Meeting ID: 818 9245 1839
Password: 147258

Regarding Application of Waivers Authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Please see the following notice:

Participants, Applicants, and Community Partners

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency the Bellingham/Whatcom County Housing Authorities (BWCHA) offices are open for business but closed to the public until further notice.  BWCHA personnel are still available to assist you, but we are operating in shifts and/or working remotely. 

Additionally, BWCHA has taken the following steps in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while maintaining continuity of service:

  • Our lobby is currently closed to walk-in traffic
  • All in-person appointments have been canceled
  • Annual and biennial HQS inspections are postponed
  • Initial HQS Inspections will continue for vacant units, at the inspector’s discretion
    • If it is determined that an initial inspection cannot safely be completed, it will be postponed until it’s  safe to complete it.
  • New tenant-based Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) are not being issued
  • Maintenance staff will respond to emergency work orders only
  • Increased sanitization efforts are taking place at BWCHA properties

Please note annual and interim re-certifications will continue to be processed.  If you need to submit paperwork or report changes, please use one of the following methods:

  1. Email items or information directly to your Housing Coordinator
    • Emails can also be sent to info@bellinghamhousing.org if direct contact information is not known
  2. Deposit items in the drop box by our lobby entrance at 208 Unity Street Bellingham, WA
  3. Mail items to PO Box 9701 Bellingham, WA 98227

Phone messages are monitored regularly but during this time we will be communicating primarily by email, and there may be delays in our response time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work to protect the health and safety of our community.

 

Offices Closed to the Public

BELLINGHAM, WA – Effective noon on March 13, 2020, Brien Thane, Executive Director of the Bellingham Whatcom County Housing Authorities (“BWCHA”), announced that BWCHA’s offices are closed to the public. The decision was made in an effort to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community.

“The health and well-being of our residents, clients, and staff is our highest priority. As the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, we are committed to staying up-to-date and responding to recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health, the Whatcom County Health Department, and the City of Bellingham,” said Executive Director Brien Thane. “By handling appointments by phone, and receiving drop-off payments in our drop box, we will be able to continue to meet the needs of our residents and clients while also helping to protect our staff as well as the community at large.”

BWCHA, who are closely following the guidance of public health officials, continues to operate during regular business hours. However, until further notice, their offices will be closed to the public and BWCHA staff will not be handling appointments in-person. Their offices are located in Bellingham at 208 Unity Street and 411 York Street, and may be reached by phone at (360) 676-6887 between 9am – 4pm, M-F.

Additional details will be available on the Bellingham Whatcom County Housing Authorities’ website at https://www.bellinghamhousing.org

COVID-19 Response

Dear residents, clients, and friends of the Housing Authority:

The health and well-being of our residents, clients, and staff is our highest priority. As the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, we are committed to staying up-to-date and responding to recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health, the Whatcom County Health Department, and the City of Bellingham.

The Bellingham and Whatcom County Housing Authorities are closely following the guidance of public health officials and staying open with regular business hours. While we are operating as usual, we are also working on contingency plans and preparing for changing circumstances. We will keep the public informed of any operational changes through our website.

Steps we’re taking:

  • Hand sanitizers are available at all reception areas for public use
  • We are bringing on temporary staff who will be regularly sanitizing surfaces in our reception area, as well as doors, railings, elevators, and high-use areas in our public housing, Catherine May Apartments, and Birchwood Manor
  • All staff are directed to wash hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds
  • Staff have been reminded of our sick leave policy, and we ask staff to remain home if any signs of illness are present
  • We have developed a task force consisting of senior staff who are staying apprised of the latest information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health, the Whatcom County Health Department, and the City of Bellingham, and will keep the public informed of any operational changes.

Our recommendations to our residents and visitors:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth)
  • If you were planning to visit our offices but have symptoms of illness, please stay home
  • Our staff is available by phone or email. You may also call us at 360-676-6887 and email info@bellinghamhousing.org
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw tissues away after each use (then wash your hands for 20+ seconds!)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

We are monitoring the evolving situation closely and will announce any further changes and updates. Thanks for your understanding and support. Stay safe and healthy!

Brien Thane, Executive Director/CEO