Every time developers asked to build condominiums in his gentrifying 26th Ward, then-Ald. Billy Ocasio had the same answer:
Your project won’t be approved unless it includes at least one “affordable home.”
One person who benefitted from Ocasio’s directive: Omaira Figueroa, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Ocasio’s political mentor.
With a $140,000 loan from her parents, Figueroa bought her new two-bedroom, two-bathroom affordable condo in Humboldt Park in June 2008 for $155,000, property records show.
Little more than a year later, she sold it for $239,900 — $84,900, or 55 percent, more than she’d paid.
Had Figueroa’s condo been part of a typical affordable-housing program, that wouldn’t have been possible