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I have just started watching the TV show Alpha House. In this show four Senators share a flat. I accepted this initially as poetic license. But then, suddenly, only three remain. And immediately they seek a replacement, as though there was nothing more natural than four senators sharing a smallish flat.

Have I overlooked any explanation of this in the series? Are there any significant cultural differences between America and Europe, which render American millionaires more inclined to live as roommates? Are there any special conditions unique to Washington DC, or senators that might help to explain this oddity? Like any detail of the political system, unknown to me, which renders proximity to some place utterly desirable?

Naively, I should guess, that senators are extremely wealthy and can find top quality homes everywhere, but even if four of them happened to share this odd preference, it would be unlikely to quickly find a fifth one...

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No...the series premise is based on reality

Wikipedia

The series is inspired by several actual Democratic legislators who share a row house in D.C.: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Representative George Miller (D-CA).

That reference also has a link to CNN's The Real Alpha House

A quick search shows property purchase prices of a 4 bed town house in the region of $2 million and rental prices of $4000/$5000 per month.

Senator's salaries are in the region of $175-200,000 plus office running expenses which do not include accommodation.

Even assuming that Senators are millionaires (which is not necessarily true) the cost of purchasing or renting property withing easy walking distance of Capitol Hill would make it economical for people to live together.

As mentioned in a comment by @Blckknight..

It's also worth noting that Senators don't work exclusively in Washington. They all spend a lot of time back in their home states, especially when the Senate is not in session. They'll meet with their constituents and local government officials to discuss upcoming legislation. And of course they have to campaign for reelection every six years which involves spending a lot of time traveling around their home state. So even if they could afford to move to Washington and buy a house there, they might not be able to afford to own two houses at the same time.

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    It's also worth noting that Senators don't work exclusively in Washington. They all spend a lot of time back in their home states, especially when the Senate is not in session. They'll meet with their constituents and local government officials to discuss upcoming legislation. And of course they have to campaign for reelection every six years which involves spending a lot of time traveling around their home state. So even if they could afford to move to Washington and buy a house there, they might not be able to afford to own two houses at the same time. – Blckknght Oct 30 '16 at 0:56
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    Clearly we need to give senators a raise so that they'll be immune to the swan songs of lobbyists and etc. I propose a salary of $1 Billion Dollars per annum. That's only an additional expenditure of $100 billion per annum - a mere drop in the bucket compared to the insanity of the federal debt! LET'S DO THIS!!!!! – Bob Jarvis Oct 30 '16 at 2:23
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    @BobJarvis Which would immediately give senators already in office a huge benefit over those who are working to get into office, since they'd easily afford property near the capital and push out those who can't. It would also attract in far greater numbers people who are in it for the money and clout, not the politics. Miley Cyrus and Kanye West for Senate? – Slipp D. Thompson Oct 30 '16 at 3:23
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    I heard the same thing about investment bankers in Frankfurt, Germany. It is apparently common for them to share flats in central Frankfurt City, because despite the quite ridiculous starting salaries, real estate prices near the central banking district are even more ridiculous. – Jörg W Mittag Oct 30 '16 at 5:22

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