Congressman-elect denied DC rental over bad credit — but he got other offers
By Mary K. Jacob
Maxwell Frost, newly elected to Florida’s 10th Congressional District, is having trouble securing an apartment — over bad credit.
The congressman-elect, 25, got ahead of the news by taking to Twitter last week to reveal his predicament.
“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,” Frost tweeted on Thursday . “This ain’t meant for people who don’t already have money.”
The plot twist?
Frost, the first-elected Generation Z Congress member, admitted that his bad credit stems from the pricey 2022 democratic campaign he ran.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Frost, who will represent the Orlando area, noted that at one point he was even homeless for a month because he was priced out of his home and could not afford rent.
But it looks like come January, he will be paid handsomely for his new job — $174,000 annually, to be exact.
Until then, he’s received support from several corners. Celebrity chef and restaurateur José Andrés extended a “Welcome to DC!” in reply to his initial tweet, offering, “Sir if you need a place to stay, please DM me and we will make it happen tomorrow.” (“Thank you so much, Chef!!” Frost responded .)
And People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) suggested they could make room , at least temporarily, at their District location: “We want to help—be our guest! PETA offers you a place in our vegan, nonpartisan D.C. office with a private room, shower, mini-kitchen, and free WiFi … Enjoy a month of peace & quiet in a place where supremacism is out and kindness is in!”
Some of his future colleagues additionally stepped up, including California Rep. Jimmy Gomez and Florida Rep. Darren Soto, who tossed in a couch-surfing opportunity. “I’ve been there…when I was 30 years old, I was flat broke and couldn’t even pull $20 bucks out of an ATM. Glad you’re here,” Gomez wrote . “If you need a place to stay @RepDarrenSoto and I have a sofa you can use.”
Meanwhile, as interest rates reach an all-time high, 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, as there are more renters competing for affordable units than there are units to go around.
One-bedroom units in the Navy Yard neighborhood in D.C. typically run $2,800 a month, according to Realtor.com , while studios generally begin at around $2,600 a month.
Even athletes earning more than $1 million a year often struggle to find apartments if they have no or poor credit, according to Jordan Stuart of Keller Williams Capital Properties.
“These landlords don’t make exceptions for anyone,” Stuart told Realtor. “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, Stuart added. Renters can typically get around that if they have an individual co-signer with good credit.
Read more: Newsbreak