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Image of Tamara Knox

Tamara Knox

Frolic Community LLC

Seattle, Washington



Model enabling homeowners to unlock their land’s value and build homes they and their community can afford, putting the benefits of neighborhood transformation in the hands of the existing community.


In response to the housing crisis, Seattle upzoned sections of the City to allow for greater housing density. This upzone was concentrated in the Central District, a previously redlined neighborhood of Seattle and the center of the Black Community. When a lot is upzoned, the value shifts from the existing structure to the speculative value of the land (its development potential). Capturing the new value of this land requires redeveloping the lot, which conventionally is done by an outside developer and drives up property taxes, adding pressure to the homeowner to. As a result, the new value created in this rezone benefits developers and displaces the existing community. Frolic’s model flips this process on its head by combining a community’s assets to build additional housing while building homes generational renters can afford to purchase. With only $400k of additional capital from the community, homeowners can leverage their asset (land) to build over 5 new homes their community can afford to buy. In this type of ownership model, new homes have median down payments of $10-20k with all monthly living expenses below market rent and affordable to middle income households (70-120% AMI).

Frolic’s development and ownership model emerged after 2 years of research at the Center for Real Estate at MIT, with input from over 180 innovators and experts in housing, finance, and community-driven development from the U.S. and Europe.

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