Floating homes are usually attached with thick chains or cables to a floating boardwalk, a concrete walkway, or a pier. Most floating home communities in Portland have homes attached to a walkway which has large fittings or cutouts that go around pilings driven deeply into the river bed.
When the river rises during rainy season, the walkway floats ever upward while staying attached around the pilings. The houses and boats moored to the walkway float up as well. The entire lot of homes, walkways, pilings, docks, etc. is referred to as a moorage.
You get down to the river by walking down a ramp that is steeply inclined when the water level is low and that is not so steep during the rainy season.
This photo was taken recently. Since we are near the end of summer the river is low. Notice how steep the ramp is. Also, check out the base of the brick red steel pilings. Notice the difference in coloration at the base. This shows you how high the river gets during the rainy season.
Cars of course always remain on shore. Some moorages have garages and some have funky gravel parking lots. There will be mail boxes on land as well. And a dumpster for garbage.
As a houseboat owner, you'll want a good wheelbarrow or cart to port your groceries down to your house. Oh--and a good rain coat and rain hat for the winter became you cannot manage an umbrella and a wheelbarrow at the same time.
All groceries and purchases (including that 3-piece leather sectional you had to buy) get carried down and garbage gets carried up.
It take a hearty sort of person to live the lifestyle of the river, but what a glorious life it is!
A Boardwalk Photo by Phillie Casablanca