All the families of Fontana Lake received a wonderful Christmas present, in the form of a brand-new law that protects floating homes on all TVA reservoirs. With the "WIIN Act" the TVA can no longer arbitrarily remove any of our homes and the 30 year sunset has been removed. 


It has been a very interesting year to say the least. In February of 2016 we were notified that the TVA was recommending a 20 year sunset period to remove all of our homes. Initially we were completely devastated but after the shock wore off a bit we decided we couldn't sit idly by. In April we started an online ipetition and received over 3700 signatures in a months time. During that period we discovered the Tennessee Valley Floating Home Alliance (TVFHA) and joined forces to become an united front.

On May 5, 2016 we took our ipetition to Paris Landing, TN and floating home owners spoke for several hours in order to plead our case. Ultimately the TVA Board decided to extend the Sunset period from 20 to 30 years. Although we do appreciate their consideration, our ultimate goal was a removal of the sunset all together. That summer we worked hard to try and reverse the sunset decision, but at the August 25th TVA Board meeting it was clear that that wasn't an option. 

In September our US Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, as well as Congressman Meadows  introduced amendments to the 2016 WRDA bill. These measures were passed in the US Senate on the 15th and the US House on the 28th of September. On September 23, 2016 Swain County Residents Laura Sneed and Commissioner David Moneith testified before the Subcommittee on Government Operations of the US House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It was a terrifying experience, but worth it!

On December 8th the House passed the WRDA bill again (after it made it through Conference committee). Then after much debate and some nail biting filibustering, the Senate passed theirs in the wee hours of December 10th.

On December 16, 2016 our dreams became a reality and the President of the United States signed our bill into law. With that, it is now illegal to remove floating homes from TVA reservoirs. 

Despite this amazing year and major "WIIN", our fight is not over and we still need to work to save ALL of our homes. The TVA still needs to announce their future regulations and fee structures. Once they do there will be a commenting period before it goes to the board for approval. Before anything is final Fontana Families and the TVFHA  need to continue to work with the TVA to make sure that those rules and fees are fair and reasonable.

We will continue to update everyone via our Facebook Group and make sure everyone knows when those go live for comment. Apparently we were too quiet during the last commenting period and we will not make that mistake again. It is clear that floating home owners can move mountains when we band together! 


If you are wondering how you can get involved, please join our Facebook group as well at the TVFHA. You should also share this information with all your floating home neighbors and get them involved in the ongoing efforts (strength in numbers folks). In all honesty this fight has not been cheap by any means and we need your financial support as well. Please donate via PayPal or mail a check to the address to the left. We know times are tight, so any amount would be appreciated and will go to good use.


Finally, we have so many people who made this possible that we need to thank. To Congressman Meadows and staff for taking up this cause and being our champion. To Senator Burr and  Senator Tillis as well as their staff for championing this in the Senate. We know it was a tough fight on your side and we appreciate that you went to bat for us.  To the US House, US Senate and President Obama for passing the WRDA bill and making it a law. To David Monteith, who  fights every day for Swain County. To the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council and Principal Chief Lambert for unanimously passing a resolutions in support of floating homes. To Swain, Graham and Haywood County for also passing resolutions and your continued support. To Smoky Mountain News, Smoky Mountain Times, Asheville Citizen Times and WLOS for keeping the story alive and reporting the facts. To the Sherrill, Crisp and Prince Families for supporting the cause and taking care of our homes and boats (we love our dock boat owners). To the TVFHA Board and our amazing political consultant Van Hilleary, without you we'd be half as strong and clueless in Washington DC. To the TN politicians at the county, state and federal levels, we appreciate your support. To all the marinas who have support the cause and anyone who has donated to the TVFHA to save our homes. To all our fellow floating home owners as well as all of our supportive family and friends, thank you, thank you, thank you! We wouldn't be a group without your support and we all made this happen. Finally, to the TVA Board, although we haven't agreed with your choices, we do appreciate your professionalism and willingness to keep an open line of communication with our groups. We also appreciate this learning experience as we have met so many amazing people that we otherwise may have never met. If we have missed anyone, we sincerely apologize.  We know so many people put in a lot of effort to make this happen and we appreciate everyone who was involved.

timeline of events

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  • December 16, 2016 - The 2016 WRDA bill was signed by President Obama into law. Now called the "WIIN Act", the 30 year sunset has been removed. See WIIN ACT. Section 5003 for the new law.
  • September 28, 2016 - The House passed H.R. 5303 Water Resources Development Act of 2016. This bill includes Congressman Meadow's amendment to save floating homes
  • September 23, 2016 - Two Swain County residents testify before the Subcommittee on Government Operations as part of a hearing REVIEWING THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY’S PROHIBITION ON HOUSEBOATS. 
  • September 15, 2016 - The S.2848 – Water Resources Development Act of 2016 was passed by the Senate on September 15, 2016. This bill includes Senator Burr’s and Senator Tillis’ amendment and was passed with a vote count of 95 YEAs and 3 Nays. Thank you Senators!
  • September 8 and 9, 2016 - Laura Sneed, Co-Founder of Fontana Families and Mike Wilks, President of the TVFHA were invited to provide testimony before the Subcommittee on Government Operations of the United States House of Representative Oversight and Government Reform Committee. This testimony is in support of owners of floating houses on Tennessee Valley Authority lakes and reservoirs in North Carolina and Tennessee Congressman Mark Meadows (NC11) represents Western North Carolina and the Fontana lake community, and is the Chairman of the Congressional Subcommittee requesting Laura's testimony. 
  • September 9, 2916 - Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11) Introduces Bill to Stop TVA Ban on Floating Cabins and Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-3) immediately signed on as the first co-sponsor of the legislation. A copy of his press release can be found online here.
  • September 8, 2016 - Senators Burr and Tillis Introduce Legislation to Stop Tennessee Valley Authority’s Proposed Houseboat Ban. Their press release can be found online here. A copy of the amendment can be found here.
  • August 27, 2016 - Congressman Meadows issued the following statement: 
    "It was my hope that the board would reconsider its sunset decision.  The most recent board meeting has indicated to so many that it will continue to carry out a very flawed decision that is not based on fact, science or consideration of adverse economic consequences.  In light of this decision, it now brings into question the entire decision making process of every aspect of the TVA system. 
    I have prepared three different bills that will be introduced in the coming weeks. The first which has support of democrats and republicans as well as both chambers, will attempt to stop the houseboat action. The other two will look at the financing and government backing TVA enjoys. Yesterday I instructed committee staff to start a list of TVA witnesses to include staff and board members, as we prepare for hearings in Washington DC. 
    The next thirty days will provide concrete actions that will require the TVA board and management to address a host of issues. " - Congressman Mark Meadows
  • August 25, 2016 - Members of Fontana Families and the TVFHA attended the TVA Board meeting in Knoxville, TN. Watch clips of the meeting on here
  • MAY 5, 2016 - The TVA Board voted to sunset the floating homes in 30 years. Watch clips of the meeting here
  • MAY 4, 2016 - SEVEN TN Congressman sent a joint letter to the TVA Cong. Diane Black
    Cong. Marsha Blackburn, Cong. Stephen Fincher, Cong. Chuck Fleischmann. Cong. John J. Duncan, Jr., Cong. Scott DesJarlais and Cong. Phil Roe 
  • MAY 4, 2016 - Congressman John Duncan sent a letter to the TVA
  • MAY 4, 2016 - Our petition reached over 3500 signatures and 900 great comments 
  • MAY 3, 2016 - The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians unanimously pass a Resolution in support of Option B1
  • MAY 2, 2016 - Our petition reached over 3000 signatures and 800 great comments
  • MAY 2, 2016 - Haywood County Commissioners in NC Passed a Resolution in support of the floating houses
  • APRIL 26, 2016 - Members of Fontana Families and the TVFHA attended the TVA's RRSC meeting in Chattanooga, TN
  • APRIL 21, 2016 - The Swain County Commissioners passed Resolution #900-2016-1
  • APRIL 20, 2016 - THE TN JOINT RESOLUTION 676 sponsored by Senator Yager passed UNANIMOUSLY through  the Tennessee General Assembly.
  • APRIL 19, 2016 - Congressman Mark Meadows sent a letter to the TVA on our behalf
  • APRIL 15, 2016 - Our petition reached over 1500 signaures and 437 great comments
  • APRIL 6, 2016 - Our petition has reached over 1000 signatures and 280 great comments
  • Several communities as well as the State of Tennessee have taken official action to support these homeowners in their efforts to address these concerns with the TVA Board.  Locally, the Graham County Commissioners and Swain County Commissioners voted to support grandfathering the houses.  Campbell, Anderson, Claiborne and Washington Counties in Tennessee did the same.
  • The TN SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 676 sponsored by Senator Yager passed UNANIMOUSLY through the Senate and will be presented to the Tennessee General Assembly by April 22, 2016.This resolution came through the collaborative work of floating home owners and the Nashville law firm of Farrer and Bates. 
  • April 1, 2016 - Our petition went live
  • February 2016 - The TVA announced a 20 year sunset proposal



our homes


We are owners of non-navigable and floating houseboats located on Fontana Lake, in the great state of North Carolina. We formed Fontana Familes in-order to fight to save floating houses and to support the rights of all non-navigable and floating house boat owners on Fontana Lake and on all Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoirs. 

In FEBRUARY 2016 the TVA announced that all floating homes (including grandfathered homes) were to be removed after a 20 year sunset period. Since that announcement, we have partnered with the Tennessee Valley Floating Home Authority (TVFHA) and been working tirelessly to save our homes. At the MAY 5th meeting the TVA Board voted to increase the sunset to a 30 year period. Although it’s a step in the right direction, it is not the end goal we're still working to Save our Floating Homes. 

Don't let TVA sunset our homes and make us destroy them in 30 years. Many responsible home owners have worked hard, spent a lot of time and money and followed the rules. We love our homes and the quality time they allow us to spend with our family. Join us today and let our voices be heard!

Who We Are


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Fontana Families For Floating Houses


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Donate to support the costs incurred in this opposition effort. Make a secure donation through PayPal or make your check payable to "TVFHA" & mail to PO Box 892, Milford, OH 45150

Visit the TVFHA's YouTube channel for more video clips

Where we are now