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WCHAC Bylaws

As amended 6/10/2010





Name of this organization shall be the Whatcom County Housing Advisory Committee (WCHAC), hereafter referred to as the Committee.



The Committee is established by the Whatcom County governing authority per Interlocal Cooperation Agreement Between Whatcom County and the Cities of Whatcom County, Section D, County Code and in accordance with Substitute House Bill 2060, 2001 Session, RCW 36.22.178, RCW 39.34.030 (4) (a) and ESSHB 2163, 2005 Session amending RCW 36.22.178. 36.18010.43.18B.005 and 43.185B.009 adding a new section to Chapter 36.22 RCW: adding a new chapter to Title 43 RCW. 




The Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to Whatcom County Health Department staff on all issues related to uses of SHB 2060 and ESSHB 2163, 1359, and other related housing funds and is charged with making recommendations to the Whatcom County Executive regarding the use of these funds. The Committee shall support the development and preservation of affordable, low-income housing to address the critical needs throughout Whatcom County.



The role of the Committee shall be to:

  • advise on policy decisions that ensure the utilization of funds in a manner consistent with SHB 2060 and ESSHB 2163, 1359 and subsequent legislation related to low-income housing.
  • participate in the review of applications for funding if needed.
  • make recommendations regarding the use of these funds to the Whatcom County Executive    and Council.
  • give guidance on the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.
  • advise on priorities for the distribution of housing related funds based on the Ten Year Plan     and relevant sections of county and local government plans addressing low-income housing.


Whatcom County Health Department staff, hereafter referred to as Staff, will:

  • provide leadership, strategic planning and program development activities in response to funding availability and the federal, state and local service environment.
  • provide program and contract management responsibilities directly related to the use of housing funds and program planning.
  • act as a resource for the Committee and support its members in the performance of their duties. County Staff will keep and distribute Committee meeting minutes.



The Committee shall support Staff to:

  • achieve a balance between accountability and the public benefit.
  • employ application, fund distribution and monitoring processes that are efficient, simple, short and easy to understand and in compliance with local and state law.
  • invest in quality projects that are conceptually sound and financially feasible and that respond to identified need and strategic planning within Whatcom County.
  • fund projects and programs that leverage other resources, when appropriate.
  • fund projects that demonstrate coordination with other Whatcom County service providers.
  • fund projects that produce intended results.
  • uniformly and consistently apply policies and procedures.




 Committee members shall be appointed by the County Executive and will not be compensated for their participation. The Committee shall consist of no fewer than 9 members and no more than 15 members. In the event that the membership falls to nine (9) members, nominations will be sought to increase the membership.
Committee membership is open to Whatcom County residents and shall strive to include representatives from the following community stakeholders:

  • Special Needs
  • Social Services
  • Private nonprofit agency with experience in low-income housing
  • City of Bellingham (required)
  • Urban Housing
  • Rural Housing
  • Small Business
  • Finance
  • Tribes
  • Homeless or formerly homeless (required)
  • Health Department staff as assigned (required)
  • Representative of Small Cities of Whatcom County (required)


1.  Each member selected will commit to attendance at the meetings.
2. If the designated member cannot attend, the work of the group will be trusted and the group is therefore accountable to one anther and the good of the whole.
3. Be familiar with all the prime and supportive documents, as well as the appropriate federal, state and local governmental regulations concerning the provision of low-income housing and/or related services.
4.  Uphold the locally established SHB 2060, ESSHB 2163 & 1359 and any subsequent low-income housing related legislation.


All Committee members shall avoid conflict of interest with the activities of the Committee. If  Committee members find themselves with a potential conflict of interest, they will acknowledge their conflict of interest in such a manner as to allow it to be noted in the minutes. Any member with a conflict of interest will withdraw from direct action on the issue.


Membership on the Committee shall be terminated if a member is absent from three (3) consecutive meetings without excuse. At the discretion of the Committee, the member may be reinstated or the position declared vacant and a successor recommended to the County Executive. Members may be recommended for removal from the Committee upon agreement of two-thirds (2/3) vote of the remaining Committee members. The County Executive shall be advised of the recommendation.


The County Executive will fill vacancies as required.


A leave of absence due to extraordinary circumstances may be granted in writing by the Chairperson upon petition by a member. If granted, the member's term will continue to run but the member relinquishes all privileges and is relieved of all obligations during the leave. The member's position will remain vacant during the period of the leave. Such vacancies shall reduce the current membership of the Committee for purposes of a quorum establishment.


Members shall not be compensated for their duties as members of the WCHAC, but may be reimbursed for Whatcom County approved training and related travel costs (for example: registration fees, overnight accommodations, meals, mileage) as per Whatcom County “Employee Travel Policy” No. 2.2121.



The regular meetings of the Committee shall be conducted as required. All Committee members shall be notified of the meeting ahead of time and advised of the agenda. Election of officers shall be held during the first quarter of the year.

All Committee meetings shall be open to the public.

A Consensus Model will be used for decision-making. The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure by Alice Sturgis, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure when Committee is unable to reach consensus. If consensus is not achieved, a majority/minority report may be forwarded to the County Executive office at committee members’ discretion.


Staff, in conjunction with the Chair, shall prepare an agenda for each meeting.

Any Committee member, community agency or citizen may request to be placed on the agenda notifying the Staff liaison 10 business days prior to the meeting. Staff in conjunction with the chair will approve requests.


Minutes are kept and distributed to the official mailing list for those meetings in which formal Committee action may be taken. Reports and recommendations to the full Committee will act as the record of sub-committee meetings.



A majority of all the current membership of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. A quorum shall be required to take action and approve all formal Committee recommendations.

The formulation and adoption of recommendations, positions, and other activities shall be how the Committee works in an advisory capacity to the County Executive and the Whatcom County Council.


Each member of the Committee shall possess one vote in matters coming before the Committee. All voting at meetings of the Committee shall be by each member in person; voting by proxy shall not be allowed. A vote by a majority of the quorum present shall carry.



The officers shall consist of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.


The officers of the Committee shall be nominated and elected by a majority vote of the membership present at a pre-determined Committee meeting during the first quarter of the year and shall serve for a term of 1 calendar year.  Officers can be re-elected for a second calendar year.


In case the position of Committee Chairperson becomes vacant, the Vice-Chairperson shall automatically become Chairperson and a new Vice-Chairperson shall be elected. A general election shall be held within 2 months to fill the Vice-Chairperson's position.



The Chairperson of the Committee shall provide general leadership to the Committee in all areas of its involvement. He/she shall preside over all meetings of the Committee and shall have the authority to sign official correspondence on behalf of the Committee. He/she may call special meetings of the Committee. At his/her discretion he/she may assign duties to the Vice-Chairperson and serve as an ex-officio member of all committees.


In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall assume all responsibility and authority of the Chairperson. He/she shall perform such other duties as assigned by the Chairperson.



The Committee shall recruit the members as needed for their sub-committees from the membership and/or from the community. Sub-committee chairs must be Committee members and are elected by WCHAC.                                                                        


These bylaws may be adopted and amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Committee membership at a regular Committee meeting. The Committee members shall receive at least 30 days prior notice of proposed by-law amendments.