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'Tremendous Inequity' Made Clear by 2 Cats With a Sweet Pad

Tina and Louise are living large in a $1.5K-a-month apartment in Silicon Valley
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2019 7:21 AM CST

(Newser) – Thousands of people are homeless in San Jose, Calif.—but Tina and Louise have a cozy setup in a $1,500-a-month apartment with an Apple TV (but no kitchen), scratching tower, and a landlord who pops in to rub their bellies. The two tenants are cats, and the Mercury News reports on the situation, which one homeless activist calls "peak Silicon Valley." David Callisch had been mulling over renting out the 400-square-foot apartment behind his home as an Airbnb when friend Troy Good mentioned a problem: His daughter couldn't have her cats in her college dorm, and Good couldn't bring them to his new place. So the men struck an agreement: Good would pay Callisch rent to house the two felines, named after characters from the animated TV show Bob's Burgers. The cats get daily visits from Callisch, who feeds and plays with them, as well as regular stop-ins from Good and Good's daughter.

Callisch, who tells the Mercury News he had to install a $5,000 HVAC system for the cats, notes there are a few perks to his tenants. "They don't have attitudes—well, they have attitudes, but they don't talk back—and they don't know who Trump is," he says. They also don't "drink ... smoke ... [or] play loud music," he adds to KGO. Jennifer Loving, the CEO of Destination Home, a homelessness advocacy group, acknowledges the story "is funny," but she adds "it really does highlight the tremendous inequity" in the area: More than 4,300 people in San Jose alone are without a home, and super-high rents and a dearth of units cause people to commute hundreds of miles each day from the "exurbs," per the San Francisco Chronicle. Callisch stresses this is a one-time "crazy situation": He doesn't plan on renting the studio out again to anyone's pets. (Maybe Callisch should be walking the cats.)

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