Seattle Houseboats At Risk? The City Needs To LAY OFF!!!

About once every five years the city of Seattle gets bored and has to wage war on the houseboat community.  

Forget the fact that the Viaduct is falling down and our traffic is horrendous for the most part.  Forget the fact that our schools need attention and all the other millions of issues that should really be prioritized much higher, they want to spend energy and effort on something that is not harming the city, but actually helping it stay charming.  
It is all over the news …….
 Seattle houseboats are a big part of the city history and the major reason that Lake Union is cleaned up to the point that it is.  When the city of Seattle was still dumping raw sewage in Lake Union from surrounding neighborhoods, the houseboaters were coming up with new solutions. The floating homes community has always had a huge interest in the lake and keeping it clean – no one wants to  live in filth. The articles and news pieces i am seeing are ridiculous.  The Floating Homes Association paid to have studies done that directly conflict with city claims regarding salmon, etc. 
Seattle floating homes exist because of the city and their wacky infrastructure decisions from a century ago.  They sold the underwater parcels of land to adjacent land owners in order to finance the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition which BY THE WAY built the current campus for University of Washington. 
Vanessa Ho actually wrote a pretty good description on what is going on so read about it there and make your own decision, but call the city and let them know that they need to quit attacking a community that in reality considers itself the stewards of the lake.
Support the Seattle houseboats community by participating in this year’s Seattle Floating Homes Tour – the proceeds help pay for legal fees, etc. that this vital community has incurred over the years to keep one of the best historic communities AFLOAT!   


  1. Seattle Homes says:

    Do you have any latest updates on the Seattle homes houseboats? Curious to see how that community is doing.

  2. Hey!!!
    Very nice location for home at the bank of lack ….

  3. Hi James – Yes you are correct. Most will hold on to the parcels, though, or develop them into Marinas or houseboat docks if they have adjacent property to provide parking. There aren’t that many undeveloped parcels left.

    The ownership of the houseboat depends on the dock. Some are still leased moorage while others are condo or coop owned docks/moorage with the houseboats themselves being personal property. Others still actually have fee simple ownership. It all depends on the structure of the dock and is much more secure ownership wise than the city likes to think it is.

    Feel free to email me if you have any questions at all or if you get up here to take a peek:)

  4. Since people actually own the underwater parcel of land, does that mean that as a real estate agent you can be employed to help the owner sell the property? What kind of ownership is there in a houseboat?
    I always thought it would be kinda neat to live on a houseboat, but I really know nothing about them.
    I do believe that the government should stop doing a lot of stuff that they are, and it sounds like they should stay out of the houseboat business.