Some Anchor-Outs Move to Land

Floating home at Army Corps of Engineers dock | photo from RBRA | post by Larry Clinton

With the help of $3 million in state funds, the Richardson Bay Regional Agency (RBRA) established an innovative housing voucher program in 2023, allowing eight boaters previously living on the water to move into safe, secure housing on land. Others are participating in the program this year, all of which is funded through a one-time allocation secured by State Senator Mike McGuire.

Additionally, at least 12 vessels have been purchased by the RBRA through its Vessel Buyback Program, which offers eligible participants money based on the length of their boat or floating home ($150 per foot) if they turn their vessel into RBRA for proper disposal. Since the program was reinstated in April 2023, over $60,000 has been disbursed to boat owners.

An RBRA spokesperson told the Floating Times:

To date, 14 anchor-outs have been placed in housing. We expect that number to rise to 20 within the next two months.

Here’s the breakdown of where everyone is at the moment:

12 RBRA vouchers issued; 13 clients housed with those vouchers.
1 placed in Emergency Rental Assistance Program (not a RBRA voucher but the person came from the anchorage)
3 clients transitioned to HCV (Section 8 Federal Vouchers) on June 11, freeing up 3 more RBRA vouchers
1 client in intake process
1 client in housing search
2 clients obtaining documents for intake on same Voucher
Total persons housed to date: 14
Total persons anticipated to be housed in the next 30-60 days: 20 (this includes those already housed)

In 2016, there were 240 anchor-outs. As of March 1, there are 32 boats on the bay and no floating homes that were not housed in marinas.

The RBRA’s program connects participants with a caseworker, resources through the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services and a housing voucher through the Marin Housing Authority.

The most recent RBRA newsletter tells the story of one anchor-out who was moved into an apartment through the RBRA’s boat removal effort. During a recent film showing at the Sausalito Library, well known long-time anchor-out Peter Romanowsky announced that he, too, had accepted a voucher and was moving to an apartment.

In August 2021, the agency reached a settlement with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission that states illegally anchored vessels would be removed by October 2026.