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ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, who became the youngest woman elected to the US Congress in this week’s midterm elections, can’t afford to move to Washington before taking up her post in January.
The Democrat who won the Congress seat for New York’s 14th District on Wednesday said she is unable to rent an apartment in the capital before she receives her first payment.
According to real estate website Zillow average rent in the capital is $2,700 (£2,070), nearly double the national median of $1,695 (£1,300).
Ms Ocasio-Cortez will be sworn into office in January 2019, but explained that she is unable to get a job during the transitional period.
“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment?
“We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirrelling away and then hoping that gets me to January,” she told the New York Times.
Housing policy was a key platform of Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign with many struggling to meet rising costs of rent in the working-class district of New York she represents, which includes the Bronx.
It is an issue the socialist is prepared to take on in Congress, with many seeing her as a bright hope for the future and more in touch with the needs of ordinary US residents.
“There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed or prepared for working-class people to lead. This is one of them,” she said.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez stunned the political elite when she beat 10-term incumbent Democrat representative Joe Crowley to win the New York primary on a leftist platform.
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