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Workers beg for stimulus relief

Pida Kongphouthone rarely sees a slowdown in the real estate market in his sun-drenched hometown of San Diego, where multiple bids drive up home prices. But the worldwide pandemic has upended his business practically overnight. 

Open houses have screeched to a halt during the state-imposed quarantine. No one wants strangers traipsing through their homes for showings anyway.

Deals, months in the making, are collapsing as the growing public health crisis rocking the nation’s economy sends the stock market into free fall and clouds the financial picture for already rattled buyers and sellers.

As his listings dry up, this real estate agent who relies on commissions for his income says he’s really starting to worry. Kongphouthone, 42, has elderly parents, a disabled sister and a 13-year-old son who live with and depend on him. Yet, he says, federal government is leaving independent contractors like him out of the stimulus package.

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