Mucking out, painting, lugging boxes: nobody likes to move. But Florida's Maxwell Frost isn't quite there yet. The 25-year-old has to move to the US capital Washington for a new job. However, finding an apartment is proving difficult. You'd think all doors would be open to him - after all, Frost is one of the youngest representatives in US history and the first representative of Generation Z to enter Congress. The landlords of an apartment were said to be of little interest.
A company rejected Frost's lease application because its credit rating was poor, the Democrat tweeted Thursday. "It's not for people who don't have money yet."
He was so excited when he finally found a suitable (and above all affordable) place to stay, says Frost in an interview. But he tripped himself up with his honesty. Before he applied, the politician revealed that his finances were not doing too well. However, that did not bother the employee of the rental company at first: "Apply, it will work out," he is said to have assured. But that was not the case. "They said you could call and contest the result, but I said I don't know what to contest. I have bad credit - I'll admit it," Frost wrote on Twitter. He wouldn't see the $50 application fee again either.
Frost accumulated the debt during his year-and-a-half campaign in Florida. As an Uber driver, he didn't even earn enough to pay his rent in Orlando. The young Democrat quit his full-time job at the beginning of the primaries, "because I knew that at the age of 25 I had to be a full-time candidate to win. 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. That's neither sustainable nor right, but we had to do it," Frost said.
In the end, however, the exertion was worth it: the 25-year-old is one of the big winners of the US midterms. He secured the 10th congressional district in Florida for the Democrats and will move into the House of Representatives in January. During his election campaign, the activist focused on issues such as gun violence, climate change and abortion rights.
The Washington Post writes that it's actually nothing new that newly elected members of Congress are struggling to find housing in Washington. As early as 2000, a then 26-year-old politician complained to the newspaper that he and his wife had to look at more than a dozen apartments. Some of his colleagues even stayed in their offices when they started their job. The average rent in the US capital today is around $2,300 for just under 70 square meters.
Star politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also reported in 2018 that she had to go into debt to be able to contest her election campaign. "I have three months without a salary before I'm a member of Congress," she told the New York Times at the time. "So how do I get an apartment? These little things are very real."
For Frost, the search continues for now. "Maybe I need to do a bit of couch surfing or live with someone until I find something," he told the Washington Post. In the next few years, however, money worries should no longer play a role. As a member of the House of Representatives, Frost will earn $174,000 annually.
Quellen: Twitter Maxwell Frost; "Washington Post"; "The Guardian"