Partnerships and Funding

Below are various opportunities to partner with the City and receive funding. More information can be found by expanding the program box.

Open Opportunities

The City welcomes all groups or agencies considering preserving or adding to the inventory of housing or shelter available to low-income residents. We encourage you to contact us as early in the process as possible. We welcome all inquiries, and our goal is to help project proponents connect to partners and leverage funding to move forward in as coordinated a fashion as possible. Most project proponents have been talking about and working toward a project concept for well over a year before they are ready to respond to one of the applications for funding (NOFA) for Housing Production or Preservation. In order to help us understand your concept and connect you to funding and partners, we ask that you start by reviewing the following.

  • Expression of Interest Form – This form was developed in coordination with Whatcom County for anyone considering affordable housing projects throughout the county. Project proponents moving forward within the Bellingham city limits are asked to submit this directly to the City at cd@cob.org as soon as they are moving forward with a concept. We expect to be notified of projects that may want City funding in the future close to 2 years prior to actual project development.
  • Predevelopment Application – Limited funding (up to $40,000) may be available once a project has a known site. Please review and submit this application to the City if interested. Note that if a project successfully moves forward, this predevelopment funding will be rolled into permanent project financing.

Questions: For questions on the processes above, contact Samya Lutz at slklutz@cob.org or 360-778-8385.

These loans from the Housing Levy are intended as short-term funding to permit strategic acquisition of sites for low-income housing development. These loans are expected to be repaid with permanent project financing and are intended to facilitate development of rental or home​ownership housing consistent with the objectives and priorities of the Housing Levy and Consolidated Plan.

The City will give priority to projects that meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant demonstrates that the project takes advantage of a low acquisition cost, and that short-term acquisition financing is critical to achieving cost savings, and/or
  • The project leverages or demonstrates a high likelihood of leveraging significant funding for housing development, operations, and/or services, or project-related infrastructure investments, which may be lost without the availability of short-term acquisition financing.

In addition, the program will give preference to:

  • Projects that produce or preserve low-income housing located in a high-frequency transit service area, and/or
  • Projects that develop affordable housing through acquisition and rehabilitation of existing buildings.

Notice of Funding Availability

The City may make available approximately $2 million for these loans. Applicants should contact Samya Lutz at slklutz@cob.org or 360-778-8385 to discuss the application process and requirements.

Applications will be accepted until all funds have been allocated. 

The City has set aside $50,000.00 annually to address emergency repair of any multifamily housing, including shelters and transitional housing included in the City’s Consolidated Plan inventory.

Applications are accepted on a first come, first serve basis.

Currently Closed Opportunities

Public Facilities or improvements that principally benefit low-income persons or areas.

Agencies that provide emergency shelter to homeless families and individuals during the winter months (October 1 – March 31).

There are some major changes to the application process for Housing and Human and/or Social Services grants in the 2021-22 grant cycle. The most significant changes are as follows:

  • The Housing Services and Human & Social Services applications have been combined. Any program which provides social services (whether for housing or not) should follow these application instructions.
  • It is a two-part application. The first part is a Common Application, shared with the United Way of Whatcom County’s Community Impact Fund. The second part is a simplified NOFA application, called the City of Bellingham Addendum. Both must be submitted by the due date for your application to be complete.
  • There are two ways to submit your application:
    • Through an online submission portal; or
    • Through USPS mail. We ask that applicants do not hand-deliver their applications.

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA):

NOFA Training Video (YouTube): Applicants should watch this online tutorial before beginning their Housing or Human/Social Services NOFA application. This video will replace a required, in-person training.

NOFA Q&A Session: Staff held a Q&A session on January 14, 2021 to review some frequently asked questions and to address any new ones the attendees may have. This video is a rebroadcast of that webinar.

Housing & Human/Social Services (NOFA)

Application: The word versions of both parts of the application are below. If you plan to submit online, we recommend that you draft your responses to each question and then copy them into the online submission form, being aware of the page limits. Submit your application only once: by mail or via the online submission form, not both.

Contract Requirements: This document provides an overview of the contract requirements that will be associated with this grant if your application is successful. Please read it before you apply.

Questions: For questions on the application process, contact Kate Bartholomew at (360) 778-8353 or kebartholomew@cob.org.       

Production of new homeownership housing serving low-income households in the City of Bellingham. Funding can be used for site acquisition and development costs for affordable owner-occupied homes in accordance with the Housing Development Guideline and Procedure Handbook.

Preservation of multifamily housing, including shelters and transitional housing. Production of new rental (multifamily) housing primarily serving households that earn less than 50% of area median income (AMI).  

PLEASE NOTE: See the information included under the First Steps subheading. All projects responding to this NOFA are expected to have also completed and submitted an Expression of Interest form. Any projects showing 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit funding on their application must also be coordinating with the Whatcom County Housing Advisory Committee prioritization process. If you are applying for a project that does not yet have complete information or attachments ready, please indicate when the anticipated additional information will be available. See the Housing Development Handbook for information about the application and funding commitment process.

Rental Assistance and Supportive Services

Program serving vulnerable families and individuals who are experiencing, or at imminent risk of, homelessness. Applications accepted only in conjunction with Housing Production application above.

CHDO

Some funding is set aside for Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs). Agencies that wish to access this CHDO set-aside funding must submit a CHDO certification application. Recertification (and ensuring all CHDO information is current) must occur prior to a project funding agreement with the City, and annually thereafter; download the recertification form (only applicable if the City has accepted a full CHDO application from the agency subsequent to 2015).  

Questions: For questions on the application process, contact Samya Lutz at slklutz@cob.org or 360-778-8385.

Infill Demonstration Project

This program is intended to create ownership and / or rental opportunities that implement the City’s Infill and Neighborhood goals.

New Homeownership

Production of new homeownership housing serving low income households.

Safe Parking Pilot Program

The City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from agencies that can provide safe overnight parking for individuals who are living in their cars. This RFP is currently closed.

Safe Encampment RFQ

The City issued a Request for Qualifications from agencies that can operate a tiny house village or other year-round encampment to serve households who are unsheltered. Submissions were due on December 4, 2020.

For an agency to administer and provide tenant-based rental assistance services in the City to very low income families, homeless and other special needs populations.

RESOURCES