Whatcom (WA) Housing Group Inter-Agency Data Sharing Memorandum of Agreement


Toolkits | March 21, 2012

Files: Whatcom County Interagency Data Sharing Agreement | PDF | 1 page

The Whatcom Housing Group agrees to share client data among participating agencies via the HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) for the purpose outlined below. Each participating agency must complete and comply with the Agency Partner Agreement. Each individual HMIS user must complete and comply with the User Code of Ethics, Policy, and Responsibility Statements. Both documents are available on the WA State Department of Commerce website http://www.commerce.wa.gov/Programs/housing/Homeless/Pages/HomelessManagementInformationSystems.aspx.

Uses of HMIS Data:

  • Coordinate housing services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness or facing a housing crisis in Whatcom County,
  • Understand the extent and the nature of homelessness in Whatcom County,
  • Evaluate performance and progress toward community benchmarks,
  • Improve the programs and services available to Whatcom County residents experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis,
  • Improve access to services for all Whatcom County homeless and at-risk populations,
  • Reduce inefficiencies and duplication of services within our community,
  • Ensure that services are targeted to those most in need, including “hard to serve” populations,
  • Ensure that clients receive the amount and type of services that “best fits” their needs and preferences,
  • Pursue additional resources for ending homelessness, and
  • Advocate for policies and legislation that will support efforts to end homelessness in Whatcom County.


Client Protections:

  • Informed consent must be given by clients in order for their identifying information to be entered into HMIS and shared among agencies in the Whatcom Housing Group (see Whatcom Housing Group Participating Agencies). Non-identifying client information may be entered n the system for all clients regardless of whether they give their informed consent and regardless of their domestic violence status.
  • Only non-identifying information will be entered for clients currently fleeing or in danger from a domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking situation.
  • Identifying client information will only be shared among agencies that have signed this agreement. At the time of informed consent, and at any point after, the client has the right to see a current list of the Whatcom Housing Group participating agencies.
  • Additional agencies may join the Whatcom Housing Group with notification and consent of current data sharing agencies. As part of the informed consent process, clients must be informed that additional agencies may join the Whatcom Housing Group at any time and will have access to their information.
  • HMIS Users will maintain Whatcom HMIS data in such a way as to protect against revealing the identity of clients to unauthorized agencies, individuals, or entities.
  • Clients may not be denied services based on their choice to withhold their consent.


Each party to this memorandum of agreement shall defend, indemnify, and hold all other parties harmless from any and all claims arising out of that party’s negligent performance of this agreement. Any loss or liability to third parties resulting from negligent acts, errors, or omissions of a Whatcom Housing Group HMIS user while acting within the scope of their authority under this Agreement shall be borne by that user exclusively.