Congressman-Elect, 25, Denied DC Apartment

Maxwell Frost is couch-surfing as a result of bad credit
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2022 12:12 PM CST
Congressman-Elect Will Be Couch-Surfing
Rep.-elect Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., speaks with reporters after newly-elected members of the House of Representatives attended an orientation program, in Washington, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Maxwell Frost will be the voice of the Generation Z when the 25-year-old congressman-elect takes his seat in the House in January as the youngest member of Congress—and he's already bringing attention to an issue affecting young people: financial barriers to adequate housing. Indeed, the Florida Democrat says he has yet to find accommodations in Washington, DC, because of a low credit score. He says he provided information for a credit check in applying to rent an apartment in the Navy Yard neighborhood after being reassured that his credit wouldn't be an issue in this case. But he "got denied, lost the apartment, and the [$50] application fee," per NPR. "This ain't meant for people who don't already have money," he tweeted Thursday.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also spoke of concerns about finding an apartment when she was elected to Congress as a 29-year-old in 2018, noting her first paycheck wouldn't arrive until months after election day. Savings can easily be depleted during lengthy campaigns, which make it hard for candidates to keep a full-time job. "There's no career that supports this type of campaigning, particularly for young people," Casey Burgat, director of the legislative affairs program at George Washington University, tells NPR. "It's for people that are able to withstand that financial burden" and "makes Congress exactly what it's been for so long: A disproportionately wealthy, disproportionately white institution."

"I quit my full-time job cause I knew that to win at 25 yrs old, I'd need to be a full-time candidate," Frost tweeted, per the Guardian, adding he "ran up a lot of debt" while campaigning despite working as an Uber driver on the side. "It's unfortunate. It's a known issue, especially amongst the more working-class members," he tells NPR. "In two years, my credit won't necessarily be a huge problem. But, you know, right now it is" and "bad credit alone shouldn't mean that people have problems finding places to live." For now, Frost is couch-surfing, the New York Times reports. But he's also finding inspiration to address barriers to adequate housing. He tells NPR he wants to do away with rental application fees that are "a source of revenue" for companies. (More Maxwell Frost stories.)

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