If a Newly Elected Congressman Can’t Get an Apartment, What About Everyone Else?

Maxwell Frost

Photo-Illustration by Realtor.com; Photos: Getty Images (4)

The first member of Generation Z to be elected to Congress has a very big problem: He can’t get an apartment.

Maxwell Frost, who will be representing the Orlando, FL, area, had his application for a Washington, DC, apartment denied due to his poor credit score. If an incoming member of Congress can’t secure housing, it doesn’t bode well for regular folks looking for places to live within their budgets.

“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,” the 25-year-old Frost tweeted on Thursday. “This ain’t meant for people who don’t already have money.”

Nationally, rents have been rising rapidly this year, forcing many tenants to double and triple out, downsize, or move farther out. Some renters have even undergone bidding wars to secure places to live as there are more renters competing for affordable units than there are units to go around.

In the DC metropolitan area, rents were a median $2,126 in October—up 4.9% over the same time last year, according to the most recent Realtor.com® data.

The congressman-elect, a Democrat, applied for a unit in a building a little more than a mile from the U.S. Capitol in the Navy Yard neighborhood, according to the Washington Post. He was denied and lost his $50 application fee.

He tweeted that he had built up some debt during his campaign. He had quit his job and was driving for Uber so he could campaign full time.

“I was excited because I had finally found a place that made sense for me, that was in my price range,” Frost told the Post. “It’s just unfortunate. They said you can call and dispute the result, but I said I don’t know what I’d be disputing. I have bad credit—I admit it.”

Modest, one-bedroom units in the Navy Yard typically start at around $2,800 a month, while studios generally begin at around $2,600 a month, says Washington, DC–area real estate agent Jordan Stuart, of Keller Williams Capital Properties.

Even athletes earning more than $1 million a year often struggle to find apartments if they have no or poor credit, says Stuart.

“These landlords don’t make exceptions for anyone,” Stuart says. “The only way you get around issues with bad credit is if you pay a full year’s rent or half a year’s rent upfront.”

Most Washington, DC, landlords won’t accept tenants who have credit scores below 700, he says. Renters can get around this if they have an individual co-signer with a higher score, usually a family member of the renter.

It’s not uncommon for politicians to struggle to find and afford places to live in the nation’s capital, especially younger members of Congress. Some sleep on the couches in their offices, or members of the same party will rent places together as roommates.

Tweeted Frost: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “went through something similar in 2018 and it’s still a problem! 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.”

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Source: realtor.com

If a Newly Elected Congressman Can’t Get an Apartment, What About Everyone Else?