Maxwell Frost, the Florida Democrat who made history last month as the first Gen Z congressman-elect, made waves on social media Thursday morning with a tweet in which he said he was struggling to find somewhere to live in Washington.
Frost wrote: “Just applied to an apartment in DC where I told the guy that my credit was really bad. He said I’d be fine. Got denied, lost the apartment and the application fee. This ain’t meant for people who don’t already have money.”
He later added: “For those asking, I have bad credit cause I ran up a lot of debt running for Congress for a year and a half. Didn’t make enough money from Uber itself to pay for my living.
“It isn’t magic that we won our very difficult race. For that primary, 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. 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. It’s not sustainable or right but it’s what we had to do.
“As a candidate, you can’t give yourself a stipend or anything till the very end of your campaign. So most of the run, you have no $ coming in unless you work a second job.”
Democrat New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went through something similar, Frost said, adding: “I also recognize that I’m speaking from a point of privilege cause in 2 years time, my credit will be okay because of my new salary that starts next year. We have to do better for the whole country.”
In September, in Guardian interview with Frost, he described how he was financing his run for Congress, including driving an Uber, and described how he had been living with his girlfriend and sister. When they were priced out of their apartment in October, he said he was couchsurfing and sleeping in his car for a month before finding a new place.
“I couldn’t go back home because my 97-year-old grandmother lives there, and this was in the middle of the Delta variant,” he said at the time.
Today’s news, that Frost is struggling to secure a place to live in Washington, will probably add to his determination to address the affordable housing crisis afflicting young people in many parts of the US. After all, as journalist Andrew Lawrence wrote a few months ago: “So when he talks with urgency about the affordable housing crisis, it’s real.
“There’s still a lot of barriers for working-class people to run for office,” he says. “I want to be the voice who shows how messed up it is and help demystify the process.”