Community celebrates long-time landlord’s legacy of compassion

MADISON, Wis.– It’s not often people rave about their landlords or for a landlord to be known as compassionate but that’s the case with David Hammonds after spending decades serving the Madison Community.

On Saturday dozens gathered at the Urban League of Greater Madison to Celebrate Hammonds’ 80th Birthday and congratulate him on his 50 years as a landlord.

“I learned that I’ve made friends with a lot of people and that makes me very happy,” Hammonds said.

At the event plenty of people lined up, from friends to business partners to family members, to share their kind words and memories with Hammonds.

For decades the 80-year-old went out of his way to bring affordable housing to those in need, regardless of their credit history of lack thereof and particularly for people of color, knowing firsthand how hard life can be.

“[He was] raised when discrimination was even worse than it is today,” said Hammonds’s wife Armintie Juanita Moore-Hammonds. ”One of those who had to sit on the back porch while his mom worked in the kitchen and eat his lunch with the dog.”

Since, Hammonds has come a long way through years of hard work and determination earning dozens of awards for his community service.

“The only way you can lose–you quit,” he said. “I don’t like losing and anyone that lose I really don’t care to spend too much time with them.”

With his success, he chose to give his tenants a break, even if it meant losing money and in return his tenants grew to think of him as much more than a landlord but rather a friend, mentor and for some even a father figure.

Former tenant Bruce Moore said it was common for people to use Hammonds’ apartment as a jump-off spot towards becoming more independent–a helping hand for getting better jobs, careers, and lives.

“I look at the people here that came to celebrate his life and it’s like this very large extended family,” Moore said.