La Jolla Family Rents Out Doghouse to UCSD Student Amidst Housing Crisis

Written by: Kaz Nuckowski

“I like having the extra money,” said Mrs. MacInson. “But I no longer have a place to send my husband to when he messes around
with other women.”
Photo by Maria Dhilla

Faced with the combined pressures of an ongoing pandemic and record admission rates, many UCSD students are struggling to find housing for the upcoming academic year. Students have taken matters into their own hands in the absence of administrative action, with many Facebook groups being dedicated to the task of helping students find places to live. In many cases, this involves taking advantage of transitional university housing, or renting out living rooms in other students’ apartments. For one Benji Clifford, an affordable accommodation meant the MacInsons’ doghouse.

“I was browsing Facebook in an attempt to find something, anything,” said Clifford,“when I stumbled on an offer from the MacInsons’ for a small, furnished, private room for $5,000 a month. What a steal! A little over my budget, but that’s La Jolla for you. It’s only a short three-hour bus-ride or ‘W-A-L-K’ away. My friends were so jealous when they found out about my housing sitch.”

When Clifford came to view the residency, the MacInsons conducted a short renter interview where they requested sternly that Clifford sit. When he complied, Janet MacInson called him a “good boy” while her son patted his head. “That was the moment we knew he was going to be a good fit for us,” said Janet MacInson. “We had nine other students who’d requested to view the place anyway, so if he hadn’t obliged, I’m sure we would have been able to fill the space regardless.”

When asked about the interview, Clifford said, “I mean, no one’s ever really asked me to do that before, but they offered me the lease on the spot without a deposit, so I said yes. Seemed like what any reasonable person would do, right? Sign a binding year long contract with someone whose job description as a landlord practically involves viewing you as less than human?” Clifford cocked his head to the side and stared questioningly at reporters. He then barked at a passing FedEx truck, retreated into his room, and circled his bed three times before settling into it.

“We’ve always wanted a dog, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity,” Janet MacInson stated. “I’m highly allergic, so why not give my kid what he wants while helping a student out at the same time? That means we’re good people for opening our home to him. He’s very obedient and eats the dog food we leave out for him at night. Very quiet too. Never holds parties or whines to come in when it rains. The best tenant you could ever ask for, to be frank.”

“It’s really not so bad,” Clifford replied when reporters inquired about the living situation. “They give me baths from time to time. Sometimes they even let me sleep on the couch!”

The MacInsons also weighed in on the housing crisis. “I know other students faced with dire circumstances are creating innovative housing solutions, said Ian MacInson. “It should never have come to this in the first place, but living a little further from campus and shacking up with wacky roommates is better than being homeless. I just hope other students are taking those opportunities. Housing security is a huge factor in academic success.” Janet MacInson then noted to reporters, “Our neighbor down the street has actually been looking to rent out her catwalk if you know anyone who’s interested.”

Distribution Lieutenant at The MQ

Kaz Nuckowski is a Copy Editor for the Muir Quarterly. They are usually found in Half Dome laughing and encouraging students to share their wit or giving their own suggestions to make everyone else laugh. Never doubt Kaz and their skills because they will surprise you, especially when the spread has a comic open and they are feeling inspired!

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