Lamont Davis knows that simple solutions rarely solve complex problems.
Davis lives in the Washington Park neighborhood and has lived here for most of his life. After he went to college he found himself working for an agency which made repairs on homes of the elderly in order to make them safer. Today he helps run an organization which facilitates city grants for a broad range of home improvements.
He's not satisfied with just throwing money at problems because then there's a good chance they'll need money thrown at them again later. So he tries to help transform homeowners into people who know how to spot things before they become problems, into people who know how to care for their houses' vital systems, and people who are financially knowledgeable so they don't lose their homes because of bad mortgages and uninformed choices.
He is also concerned about the vacant lots scattered throughout the neighborhood. He's interested in discussing innovative approaches that could be applied to these lots. He feels that collaborations between different people and various entities are how the best solutions can be found.
Also worth more looking at, he believes, is how residences get configured when houses get restored or new housing gets built in neighborhoods like this. He thinks maybe they should be a little smaller, perhaps apartment configurations would make more sense. Whatever the best solution might be, status quo never seems to be enough for Lamont Davis.
Lamont Davis, interview by Matt Lathrum, June 2014.
Lamont Davis describes the Washington Park community.
Neighbors who talk to each other
Lamont Davis discusses future of the Washington Park neighborhood.