WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep.-elect Maxwell Frost of Florida, the first member of Generation Z elected to Congress, says he is struggling to get an apartment in Washington and lost an application fee because his credit is “really bad.”
The 25-year-old progressive Democrat, who will receive a $174,000 salary as a congressman, says his score suffered as he accumulated debt running for office for a year and a half. Three months into his campaign, he said, he had to become a Uber driver to pay for bills and food.
“This ain’t meant for people who don’t already have money,” Frost tweeted Thursday about his problems apartment hunting in Washington, one of the most expensive cities in the country.
His plight shows the challenge for young or otherwise struggling new members of Congress who are moving to an expensive city and may not have the financial means to secure housing before they start receiving their government salary.
Frost's campaign manager, Kevin Lata, said Friday that the congressman-elect has received more than 100 offers for temporary housing solutions as he continues his apartment search. He has also received public offers on Twitter from world-famous chef Jose Andres and Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California, who tweeted that he could crash on the sofa of the apartment he shares with Democratic Rep. Darren Soto of Florida.
Frost recalled that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, faced a similar problem when she first won in 2018 at the age of 29. She said she was unable to afford an apartment in the capital before her salary kicked in.
Ocasio-Cortez highlighted the wealth of many members of Congress and questioned how they could fairly represent working people if they didn't experience the same struggles.
Frost, a Black man with Cuban heritage, campaigned on gun safety and “Medicare for All” and was endorsed by progressive leaders including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
He handily won Rep. Val Demings' former seat in Florida's heavily blue 10th Congressional District that includes the Orlando area. Demings lost her bid to unseat Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.