FHA Membership has its Rewards (courtesy of Laura Lowery)
Membership in Seattle’s Floating Homes Association (FHA) is one of the best deals on the lake. The FHA would like to encourage you to join, or renew your membership. As a nonprofit organization serving the interests of floating home owners in Seattle, the mission of the FHA is to protect, preserve and promote the vitality of Seattle’s historic floating homes community through education, advocacy, environmental stewardship and collaboration. Membership benefits are tremendous, and annual dues are very reasonable. If this were a MasterCard advertisement, it might go something like this: Cost of annual dues? $50 per household ($40 for those 65 and older). Average price per hour for a professional advocate? Hundreds of dollars. Being a member of the FHA? Priceless. By joining or renewing your FHA membership, you will be supporting an active organization that shares a stake in your best interests as a floating home owner, and that keeps communication flowing among the community. Here are just some of the many benefits of membership:
Advocacy: The FHA serves as an advocate on important legislative issues and legal matters related to maintaining the vitality of the community, and protecting the rights of floating home owners. The FHA joined in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that resulted in a decision protecting floating home owners from onerous maritime law, negotiated a new Shoreline Master Program that would allow all existing floating homes to remain on the lake even if current moorages are lost and drafted, negotiated and lobbied for state legislation that defines floating homes as a conforming and preferred use, thus protecting owners from unreasonable conditions and mitigation by local governments. The FHA also represented members in the scoping and construction of the Westlake cycle track, successfully raised concerns about the impact of a proposed Habitat Conservation plan on the members of the FHA and was the liaison between floating home owners and the US Army Core of Engineers Provide valuable information during the low lake levels of 2015 which threatened some homeowners. In 2016 when members began receiving notices of violations for home repair, the FHA began productive dialogue with the city regarding this issue. In 2017 the FHA is hoping to reach an agreement with Seattle City Light regarding changes to code which could affect homeowners.
FHA E-Alerts and Facebook: News doesn’t happen just twice a year. Breaking news, upcoming events, stories and photos related to the floating home community are accessible through email alerts sent to members via your email address. You can also join our private Facebook Group – feel free to post ads, ask questions, share musings, photos etc.
FHA Website: The FHA maintains an informative website with links to details about the association history, advocacy, community, environment, safety and security, and news and events.
FHA Annual Meeting: Members are encouraged to attend and participate in the annual meeting, which takes place on a weekday evening in the Spring (usually late April). The agenda typically includes a social hour, the latest update on what the board has been doing for you, a legislative update, board member elections, and engaging and relevant guest speakers.
A Sense of Community: The FHA provides an important link to the many interesting neighbors in Seattle’s floating home community. And, if you are interested in becoming more involved, the volunteer Board of Directors welcomes your participation. Please join the FHA in keeping the floating homes community a thriving centerpiece of Seattle’s history. Become a member, or renew your membership now – http://seattlefloatinghomes.org/membership/
Here are some thoughts from some of the FHA Board members:
- FHA connects me to the people & causes closest to me, literally! We are a unique group of people who have a wonderful lifestyle. And, sometimes there are challenges with preserving that lifestyle.
- FHA serves as an advocate for our collective community when we need to have a collective voice.
- FHA works with the state legislature to preserve our rights.
- FHA helps our docks that might be facing the scary proposition of expired leases or owner turnover.
- FHA keeps me informed of interesting things going on with the wonderful, eclectic people in my watered-down backyard.
- FHA does the stuff that needs to be done so we can go on living exactly where we want to live.
- FHA aggregates useful knowledge and resources for floating homeowners whose needs are slightly different to land dwellers.
“It is worth being a member of the FHA because as floating home dwellers we have common interests, concerns and vulnerabilities that are better addressed through group effort. Individuals alone have a more difficult time monitoring all issues all of the time.” Tiff McNamara
“Are we lucky or what? We live in America, we live in the Pacific Northwest, we live in Seattle – and the most unique thing of all – we live on floating homes in the middle of this beautiful city!! But the fact that there are still houseboats in Seattle is not due to luck. Without the FHA, we most assuredly would not be enjoying houseboat life today! And without the continuation of the FHA, we may not be able to live this lifestyle tomorrow! That’s why I’m a member of the Floating Homes Association, and that’s why I hope you are too.” Bob Bowman
“The FHA is a great deal because the board and committee members do the legwork for different houseboat issues that individuals may not have the time, patience, or resources to research themselves. Most of these issues are vital to houseboat life, such as watching the legislature for bills affecting the sale of docks, working on disaster and evacuation plans that can be adopted by individual docks or co-ops and fighting legal battles to ensure that houses keep their moorages. We also work constantly to assure the lake is a clean, pleasant place to live and we work to build relationships with government and other non-profit entities so that anyone in the community can rely on that support network should they need it.” Amalia Walton
“The FHA is a constant and vigilant advocate for all houseboaters on all issues affecting them. All houseboaters need to know that the FHA is here ‘to protect, promote and preserve our/their colorful community’. The FHA is an all volunteer Board that puts in a LOT of time attempting to keep our community healthy, thriving, growing and informed. That’s a lot of bang for your buck!” Mary Jones
“The legal standing provided to floating homes has always been fickle at best. Since its inception, the FHA has been our first line of defense against those who would do away with our homes or change the nature of the lake. It seems that every ten years or so, some new opposition to floating homes appears. An active FHA membership ensures we’re ready for the next challenge.” Mark Koenig
“FHA ADVOCATES for you against threats from development and local government. FHA provides structure for enhancing community experience. FHA HOUSEBOATIQUE provides great houseboat stuff to buy!” Giff Jones
“The Floating Homes Association has been here to protect our homes for 45 years. It gives me great peace of mind to know that FHA is diligent to possible threats and ready to jump in at any time if one develops. The FHA has built support over the years from our legislators and that is a huge benefit for our community. Even though things seem stable right now, something could change tomorrow. Everyone should support FHA by joining. It’s worth every penny and more.” Sheri Greaves